Leyda Syrah Single Vineyard Canelo 2011
Chile, Leyda Valley; c.15€; 14,5% abv
Chilean wines tend to bore me. And they tend to be made in a style that isn't at all to my taste. Yes, I know there are exceptions, but those exceptions are so rare that I feel I can make such a generalization without feeling too bad.
This Leyda is a semi-exception. I put off buying it because of my boredom. And though it isn't perhaps enough to my taste that I'll be repurchasing it, I am still glad I bought one to taste.
This actually smells of Syrah. It isn't Shiraz. I know they're the same grape but there does seem to be a bit of a correlation between styles and nomenclatures: if called Shiraz it will often be big, bold, ripe and a clone of the stereotype of Barossa no matter where it's grown. If called Syrah it will often be a more peppery, bitey style.
Despite this having Syrah on the label I was prejudiced and felt that this must be one of those misnamed Syrahs that actually is more a Shiraz. Yet this smells peppery and gamy. The reason I'm not still not 100% convinced is because the palate is more like a Shiraz in being big, ripe, sweet and with a bit of alcohol showing even though it is peppery and finishes dry. So it's kind of a blend of Syrah and Shiraz. At this price it was a pleasant surprise to get something smelling more of the variation I like.
So it's certainly worth a try if you tolerate more oak and ripeness than I do. It's a good mid-way style.