The below wine was tasted blind and caused a lot of consternation. I have copied up and expanded my blind tasting notes as a review.
Foremost Syrah, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, 2015.
100% Syrah, Alcohol 13%.
Purchased in Lidl for £8.99.
Appearance: Moderate intensity garnet with purple rim. Legs suggest alcohol probably around 12.5-13%.
Nose: Lean nose, mono-dimensional and primary but i struggle to identify much fruit in it. Volatile acidic compounds on nose contribute a slight vinegar note.
Palate: The wine is dry with very little residual sugar. There was almost no fruit on the palate though what is there suggests darker rather than red fruit. Seriously savoury but without the complexity that might be expected. This has a light body, medium tannin, and high acidity. There is a slight bitter/medicinal note on the finish – verging on tasting slightly unripe. [Retrospectively after looking at other tasting notes for this wine I agree there are prominent white pepper notes which are the basis of the savoury flavour]
Quality: The wine is well made with no faults of note. The balance is actually quite good. I would rate this as likely vin de pays or low ranking appellation.
Identity: With the austere presentation I felt this was most likely an old world wine, and certainly from a marginal climate. I really struggled to identify the grape although Syrah was in my shortlist.
Expected Price: £4-5
Initial Score: 79/100
Day Two: After 24 hours in the decanter I went back and tasted this again and was surprised to find it was showing much better. The wine had opened up somewhat with a mixed red/black fruit fleshing out the aromas. Frankly this was a far more enjoyable wine on the second day. The score would probably edge up a bit but I don’t seem to be on the same page as Decanter with this one.
Conclusion: A quaffing wine for those preferring a dry and savoury style. I have no qualms drinking this (in fact I have quite enjoyed it) but it does little to excite. Despite this it is an interesting wine and I would be keen to search out a few more examples of Syrah from Hawke’s Bay. The white pepper notes and general presentation for Syrah are certainly unique.