Basic info: Cloud Break, Petite Syrah, California – 2016
Price estimate: $9.50 (Total Wine)
Look: Dark red with some staining on the glass. Good legs and almost opaque in the glass.
Smell: Wine. Nothing very discernible on the nose.
Taste: Dark berries. Smooth and very fruit forward. Really short finish with a hint of leather on the back end.
Conclusions: Eh. I drank most of the glass with my dinner (it went pretty well with grilled cheese, but not well at all with the cucumber salad) but didn’t end up finishing the wine.
Other notes: This was a bottle I picked up because Petite Syrah is one of the few “major” varietals that I haven’t tried since I started keeping track. I remember really not liking Petite Syrah – too woody, too earthy and a bit bitter – so it wasn’t one that I was trying to get to. However, when at Total Wine, I broke down and picked up a bottle. If you had put the glass in front of me with no indication of the wine, I would have called it as a Merlot. It had the fruitiness of Merlot and none of the heavy characteristics I generally associate with Syrahs of any kind. After about half a glass, it also tasted a bit like doctored wine. The kind of wine that has so much chemistry added after nature does its thing that it is very generic. I want to say there is nothing wrong with that, but really, it didn’t taste great.
From the bottle: “From the last rains of winter to the flowing of spring vines, nothing is as exciting as the cycle of the vineyard and the promise of new wine. This year’s near perfect combination of long warm days and cool evenings produced a gorgeous wine with ripe, concentrated fruit flavors, a rich texture and a great length.” 13% alcohol by volume.