2011 begins with me still searching for a syrah/shiraz and a chianti that I really like. Haven't found one yet.
However, a 2008 Greg Norman shiraz-cabernet sauvignon blend that ran me in the mid- to high teens went down a lot more smoothly than most of the syrahs I've tried.
I took this over to my sister's when she invited me for lasagna after a tiring evening of shopping at Sam's Club [and expensive; never shop for groceries on an empty stomach]. She said she's not big on syrahs, but she liked this too. She let her son taste it, and he made a face and said it was too dry for him. Kids.
This Greg Norman was sweeter than most of the syrahs I've had. The label says it has dark cherry, plum, and blackberry notes, which I'd agree with. This is one syrah that I'd drink again. It's a little higher priced but would be good at a dinner party.
I don't have much to say about this 2003 Colognole chianti rufina except to say I drank it. I don't think I finished the bottle. It ran me $16 on sale. It tasted like chianti to me.
I looked up chianti rufina, and Rufina is at the top of the pyramid of the Chianti areas. I'll keep trying, but I haven't discovered yet what people see in chianti. Maybe I need to eat it with an Italian meal?