Last Syrah and Chianti of the Season

To wrap up my fall-winter syrahs and chiantis, I tried a shiraz-viognier blend from Australia (which ran me about $20) and a classic Ruffino chianti (about $14).

The syrah [properly shiraz] is a 2007 Black Chook from Australia.  This is a 95-5 shiraz-viognier blend, made by Ben Riggs in South Australia and aged in French Oak.

I found this a little sweeter than other syrahs/shirazes, maybe because of the viognier?, but less tannic (if that's a word) than most of them I've tried.

This isn't a bad wine, although I didn't find its flavors terribly subtle or distinguished.  But after spending $20 for it, I felt obliged to finish the bottle.

I read somewhere that Ruffinos are the archetypal chiantis, so I figured I should try one.  This 2007 Chianti Classico was a good one to wrap up with because it was one of the few that I didn't find flat and rather tasteless.  I didn't find it full of subtle flavors, my complaint with almost all the chiantis I tried, but it was drinkable, which some bottles weren't.

To sum up my winter drinking: my favorite syrahs/shirazes were the subtle and flavorful 2003 Marques de Grinon syrah from Spain and the very smoky 2004 Sincerely shiraz from South Africa.  A lot of the syrahs were just too sharp for my tastebuds.

My favorite chiantis were the very inexpensive Candoni chianti and the much more expensive ($30) Querceto from my last posting, although this Ruffino was almost as good as the Querceto at half the price.