Updated: Dec 2, 2019
Ten Barrels Syrah Reserva 2016
Skopje, Republic of Macedonia
I am always keen on trying wines from non-mainstream places even tough they are based on Syrah. Luckily my prejudices fade easily, because this nectar is very good. It is a blend of 95% Syrah and 5% Vranec. The vineyards are stretch across hills with a minimum height of 300 m above sea level, with a southern slope exposition. The most interesting vine management technique used to produce this nectar is the double crop reduction. It is a method, which leads to a partial dehydration of the grapes on the vines and obtaining phenolically ripe grapes. The divine juice ages for 12 months in new American and French oak barrels. I really like the bottle and its label full of information. Charming but a bit awkward the wax covering the cork. But it can be useful as the wine has a long bottle aging potential. Ovacii!
In the glass the wine has an intense and deep ruby colour.
The aromas intensity is pronounced. The nostrils drown in an opulence flow of dark fruits, vanilla and smoke. The aromatic palette is quite thrilling. Primary aromas: black fruits, prune, sultana, baked fruits, black pepper, liquorice, and balsamic notes of eucalyptus. Thank to the influence of the new oak, especially the American one, the flavour of vanilla and smoke is really intense. There are also hints of charred wood, toast, dark chocolate, coffee and resin. As tertiaries, there are notes of cooked blackberry, tobacco, vegetal, and leather.
In the mouth, the wine is beautifully rounded. It is dry, high level of acidity, high velvety tannins, and high alcohol (15%). On the palate you will find the same aromas enjoyed with the nose, with amplified flavour intensity. The finish is very long.
I really like this nectar, despite Syrah is not my favourite grape. It has a lot of muscles, but everything is well balanced and harmonious. I enjoyed it by its own during the tasting; but the wine works terribly well with roasted meat and grilled vegetables. Given its power, it will help your shy friends to take actively part in the lunch conversation. The wine is ready to drink now, but it would be interesting to see its evolution in a couple of years and on.