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01/06/2008

Montes (Chile) Alpha Syrah 2006
Like all of the wines in the 'Alpha' range from Montes, this is fairly massive stuff, though never tipping over into excess. From closely-planted, low-yielding vineyards, and aged for one year in French oak, the nose leaps from the glass, redolent of blackcurrant, juicy, kirsch-like black cherry and a wonderfully peppery, spicy, cedarwood, vanilla and leather components that adds layers of interest. On the palate this is tight and very densely fruited, with a great, solid core of bittersweet black fruit, and a big mouthful of charry oak and spice, and sinewy tannin. Becoming quite chocolaty in the finish, this is young wine that currently demands food (what a fantastic barbecue red if the 11 price tag allows) but it will come together and become smoother and more integrated with two or three years in the cellar. 10.99, Tesco, Waitrose.