|Terramater (Chile) Zinfandel/Shiraz 2001
Here is a very unusual blend of California's Zinfandel and Shiraz, the traditional grape of the Northern Rhône. Zinfandel makes up 85% of the blend, and predominates on the nose with its sweet, thick, glossy black fruit and chocolaty depth, allied to quite muscular, brawny, spice and old leather characteristics. There is some pepper and a lovely fruity definition on the nose, possibly revealing the Shiraz component. On the palate this offers a big mouthful of bramble and blackcurrant fruit, all shot through with a citrus acidity and firm tanninc bite. The finish is spicy and holds on to notes of fudge and vanilla (the wine is part aged in a combination of American and French oak barrels). Savoury, juicy and balanced, this really is quite a mouthful for under a fiver an proof that Chile is holding its own in this sector.