I tried this wine last night with my wife and daughter, and saved half a bottle to try with lunch today.
I should preface any tasting notes by noting that I am usually a lurker, not a poster, and haven't written a public tasting note on Woot before. I *have* been drinking a fair amount of syrah of late, much of it from Washington State, with some California and French syrah mixed in, so I do love the varietal. I should also say that my preference is often that for cooler climate syrah- wines that are very focused, fairly low alcohol, and pure, often with strong savory notes emerging to contrast the fruit as the wine opens up. Not fruit bombs. Some of the Cotes du Rossillon syrahs I like from the south of France would be an exception, as they are warmer cimate, so I am fairly flexibile...
I opened the bottle last night, and immediately poured half into an empty 375 split to save for lunch today. The rest was put in an ice bath to cool it down a little (my house was pretty warm at the time) as I try to drink wines around 65 degrees or so, at least to start.
The nose was pretty interesting- I got cherry and pepper, my wife got a strong mineral vibe, and my daughter picked up a little savory note, plus some caramel, probably from the oak.
The palate was a little more straightforward- some pepper, some cherry, plums, etc., with little tannin or acid as a backbone.
As the wine opened up, the fruit became a little more evident, still with some pepper. My best description is candied cherries and stewed plums, medium finish, but not super complex. I thought it was fine, but the sweet/stewed contrast on the palate was not my favorite.
Fast forward to lunch today. I poured a small glass from the 375 split that was left over (also cooled down in an ice bath) and paired it with an eclectic lunch of rotisserie chicken, bacon (always good with syrah), tomato, baguette, olive oil and avocado. The wine went well with the food, having enough tannin to hold its own against light fare. The longer this wine is open, the more I like it. Now, as I type this post, the lunch wine has been open for an hour, and it has finally developed some savory notes that I always enjoy in syrah. There is almost a saline backbone to this wine now, in a good way- much more balanced and interesting.
My guess, from reading other tasting notes in this thread, and also the description on the bottle, which reads: "deep color and soft, lush fruit flavors make this one of our most exciting wines." leads me to believe that this was probably a fruit forward syrah in its youth, and is now 5 years old. With such a high PH (3.7?) I don't believe it has the acidity to age too much longer, and I would consider it a "drink now" wine for sure.
To summarize, I think this is a well made wine, although not in my preferred style. The longer it is open, the better it drinks, which usually is one of my benchmarks as to whether a wine is well made or not. When PNP'd, it is a little more simple, and almost has a residual sugar sort of finish, not unlike some of Wellington's Dukes in the past couple years. With air that perceived "candied" taste fades to the background, and more interesting (to me, anyway) aspects come to the fore, notably a strong savory note.
This is a strong candidate for a daily drinker- where can you get a 5 year old estate syrah for $10? I have enjoyed buying cellared wines from Woot in the past, like the 2005 Arcadian Syrah, and this is no exception.
It is interesting to note that I attended an industry wine tasting yesterday (as a guest of a friend of mine who is a buyer for a local restaurant), and while it was a huge tasting from the largest distributor in NY, there was nary a domestic syrah to be seen. Too bad...