Powder Keg 2009 Syrah

California; 13.8% ABV
$5 at the Oakland, CA, store on 2 Nov; also at Richmond 3 Nov

PowderKeg_2009_SyrahI had no idea what to expect from this wine, but I picked it up as an intriguing new possibility. I think it’s quite good if you like wines in the darker, riper, style.

At first, this wine struck me as rather thin and insubstantial.  I then let it sit in a decanter for an hour before coming back to find it rather different.  Not that I can really say, but its style strikes me as more Australian than Californian: dark fruit flavors of boysenberry, purple plum, and cranberry, with a lightly roasted character, very gently supported with vanilla / oak.  Ripe, slightly syrupy fruit is well balanced with sharper acid in a longer, delineated taste.  I see neither signs of its being too old nor any reason to wait to drink it.  It’s still doing well 3:40 after opening.

There is also a Powder Keg Petite Sirah (a grape actually quite different from Syrah), of which I will now probably get a bottle during the 20% off sale Nov 5 – 9.

12 thoughts on “Powder Keg 2009 Syrah

  1. permiesworld

    I meant to mention that we had this the other night. Served it at a party with friends. Finger foods (meats, cheeses, fruit, petite desserts etc). Everyone brought wine. I served this. I actually had a backup wine in case this was badly handled or bottle variation etc. But this wine was the hit of the night, against more expensive options (along with a most amazing cheese http://www.sartoricheese.com/products/reserve-cheese/merlot-bellavitano/shop-merlot-bellavitano.html). I thought that, while Expat said it didn’t stand up against steak, it might be perfect for something like this and it was. Our friends said they were going to buy more for the holidays.

  2. philip frey

    I have 3 of the Syrah and 3 of the Petite Sirah, unfortunately no chance to try it because I’ve come down with a bad cold….the wrong kind of nose. IMO Petite Sirah can be made into a fine wine (but real aging potential) that when it’s from a cooler vineyard reminds me of the flavor of black sour cherries and as such is my go-to wine for rare lamb chops or leg of lamb. You know it works when the meat and the wine are the same color. Pour timing: I just have to imagine and use my eyes instead of a sense of smell.

      1. BargainWhine Post author

        In What’s New, Expat wrote: Not sure where to put this feedback on the Powder Keg 2009 Petite Sirah so I’m posting here.
        A full dose of ripe fruit but not cloying. I’m getting two things out of this early on – blueberry pie and leather. I like petite sirahs with tannins that manhandle me a little bit paired with a nice drying finish. This has a softer backbone than I was hoping but so far it’s pretty good. If you like softer, thick wines this is definitely for you.

          1. Expat

            This isn’t my ideal style (too soft) but I still enjoyed it. If you like full fruit wines this one is well made and will satisfy. For me it’s Drinkable, for what it’s shooting for and the price point it’s a Thumb’s Up. Just don’t expect it to stand up to a steak like I asked it to do tonight 😦

      2. EricfromRichmond

        I haven’t tried the Syrah, but I tried the Petite Sirah on Thurs. and it was delicious. Went back today (Richmond) and it was gone, so someone else definitely liked it.

        1. BargainWhine Post author

          I think there was also a good bit less of the Petite Sirah. However, after liking the Syrah and the positive reports here about the PS, I had been considering getting a bottle. Looks like I don’t need to worry about it. 🙂

        2. BargainWhine Post author

          Hi Eric. The Berkeley store still has a good bit of the Petite Sirah, some in its own boxes, some mixed in with the Syrah in the display right when you walk in.

          1. EricfromRichmond

            Hi BW. But then I’d have to go to Berkeley…plus I have far too much wine to drink anyway and I’m not sure the Petite Sirah is one to cellar- it seems ready right now.


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