Last night we tried a bottle a 2002 Montes Alpha Syrah from Chile. We know very little about Chilean wine but the Montes Alpha came recommended. The colour was deep cherry red with some spice, chocolate, plum and savoury notes on the nose. The palate displayed prominent French oak, vigorous tannins, some fruit, spice and red berries.

A light to medium-bodied wine, we found the middle palate a bit thin but a great alternative to the ripe fruit-driven Aussie shirazes that we are so familiar with. It went well with food – indeed, the French oak and tannins demanded food!

This is a wine with some class and we’ll add some to the cellar and try it again in twelve months.

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