Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Rating: *** 2003 Covey Run Syrah, Columbia Valley, WA

This "practically free" Washington State syrah didn't make it into our "practically free syrah taste-off" the other day, but I wanted to give it an independent review - based on some positive comments I'd heard.

In the glass, Covey Run Syrah shows as mid dark red. It pumps its aromas out from the glass - brave, bold aromas of sweaty grapes. What are "sweaty grapes"? Well, think of a big, juicy ripe red grape - with armpits. Now pick an armpit and sniff. Admittedly, this aroma is much better than that sounds, but nearly as distinctive and interesting. It suggests a deep, bold wine, with bright front and rolling flavors.

In fact, on the palate, it delivers a fair amount of this promise. Bold and deep in tone, it offers somewhat shy fruit and more depth in tannins than I would have expected - especially at its absolute low-end price. I'd be open to trying this again, but would not make it my sole choice for the evening. Three stars. Wonderful quality/price ratio.

By comparison, Wine Spectator gave this 87 points and said, "generous with its blueberry, currant and gently earthy aromas and flavors, persisting nicely on the open finish."

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