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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.