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Red Wine Review: Casa Silva 2005 Syrah

Red Wine Review: Casa Silva 2005 Syrah ($17)

I like the fact that wineries around the world are increasingly challenging the status quo and experimenting with different varieties. Italian producers are growing French varietals, while Californian wine-makers are creating excellent Sangiovese-based wines.

A decade ago, if you looked for wine from Chile, you’d invariably come across bottle upon bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Now you can find a much wider variety of Chilean offerings. This week’s Syrah from Chile’s Colchagua Valley is a perfect illustration of this point. I had never tried a Syrah from Chile before and didn’t know what to expect, so it was a pleasant surprise to find a gem.

The nose on the Casa Silva 2005 Syrah ($17) is magnificent, with cracked black pepper, charred wood and dark leather mixed with Middle Eastern spices. The palette rolls out massive waves of tannins that you want to ride like a surfer for as long as possible. Dark cherry flavors come through on the back end. It’s tough to pinpoint the exact reasons, but this Syrah is different from any other Syrah I’ve tasted. Maybe Chile’s cooler night temperatures soften it out.

It’s not surprising that the Casa Silva winery produced a hit. The family-owned vineyard was founded in the late 1800s by an immigrant from Bordeaux, and they often win awards at prestigious international wine shows, including a Best South American Producer honor at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in London.

Quaffability Rating: 88

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“Red Wine Review: Casa Silva 2005 Syrah”