Appellation Crozes-Hermitage Contrôlée, northern Rhone, France; 13.5% ABV
the wiki link above says some white grapes may be blended in, but this tastes like 100% Syrah to me
$10 at the Richmond, CA, store on 1 July
On the first night, I thought this wine needed a little over two hours of air to start opening, showing darker liqueur-like flavors of cherry / plum, and it continued to develop nicely after that. After 3+ hours, it became significantly more rich, giving flavors of black cherry, dark purple plum, blackberry, a little black raisin and allspice / black pepper, and certainly the Crozes-Hermitage character that strikes me as slightly astringent dried sap. This winds up being very ripe, rich, full-bodied, and complex, with nicely balancing zingy acid. The only possible downside is that it doesn’t strike me as terribly Old World. It could almost be Californian. Otherwise, definitely Thumbs Up!
The next day, saved single-glass screw-cap bottle, needed a little over an hour in the glass to open, showing flavors slightly softer and redder than the previous day: darker boysenberry, blackberry, tangy dark cherry, a little prune, and black pepper. While it was quite good both nights, it was more robust and aggressively complex on the first night; smoother, more elegant and perhaps slightly less complex on the second.