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Wine Review: The Power of the Press

The San Francisco Wine Press Syrah 2006 ($12 US, $16 Cdn)

This organically grown Syrah won a Silver Medal at the 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. “We can highly recommend the 2006 Syrah, which had a gamey flavor and a depth that belied its price,” said Blair Campbell of www.eastbayexpress.com. Let’s see if I agree.

I smell this wine from two feet away as I pour it into my glass. A very powerful woodsy aroma and deep crimson color almost make me afraid to taste this wine. Upon closer sniffing, it has very strong petrol and chemical refinery aromas with some dirty laundry smells mixed in. Another sniff reveals more pleasing aromas of gingerbread cookie dough.

The tasting: Wow, it’s hard to tame this beast. It’s chewy and chalky with flavors of wild boar (OK, I’ve only eaten wild boar once and don’t really remember what it smelled like, but I’m still calling wild boar on this one), sawdust, prune nectar and gasoline. I’m making this wine sound terrible, and it is quite an assault on the senses, but I like the fact that it’s not a fruit bomb – more like chemical warfare on the back of the throat. Who knew organically grown grapes could be so bad-ass?

Quaffability Rating: 84 + 2 bonus points for searing off my taste buds = 86

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“Wine Review: The Power of the Press”