Thursday, December 24, 2009

**** $$ Alley Cat Cat Amongst the Pigeons Shiraz Grenache, Alley Cat, Barossa Valley, Australia, 2006 - Wine Review and Rating

Find Cat Amongst the Pigeons at WineZap.

By way of background: Alley Cat's Cat Amongst the Pigeons is a combination of 70% shiraz and 30% grenache from various Barossa Valley vineyards in the Western portion of the region.  Some of the grenache vines were in excess of 100 years old.  The 2006 vintage, now with a couple years in bottle, was finished at 15% alcohol, with approximately 30% aged in a combination of new and used barrels.

In the glass:This is deep purple/magenta, essentially opaque (though definitely not black, more dark red opaque) to within 1/2 inch of the edge of the glass.

On the nose: Poured without a decant at cool basement temperatures and swirled vigorously, Cat Amongst the Pigeons shows a nice dark cherry plus sweet earth combination on the nose.

On the palate:The first attack on the palate comes in two completely different directions; first, sweet cinnamon and cocoa layered with lavender sweeps across your tongue; but at the same time, bright lifted red fruits cascade across the roof of your mouth.  Outstanding combination of earth, fire and sky - with black cherry, earth, mild charcoal dust down below; and red cherries up top. 

And the finish: Long, cherry liqueur-like finish... helped along - but not overpowered - by the high alcohol.  

In summary: Powerful experience overall, full-frontal with nice background elements too.  I'd completely hang with this for an evening, yielding four stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.  This is an awesome value.

Wine Advocate awarded a hefty 91 points, writing that Cat Amongst the Pigeons Shiraz/Grenache, "is deeply colored with a complex array of scorched earth, kirsch, black cherry and blueberry aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, supple-textured, and built for pleasure, this tasty wine has terrific depth and length. Drink it over the next 4-6 years."

Find Cat Amongst the Pigeons at WineZap.

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