Soulless – Gere A. Syrah 2017

When I first tried to rationalize my impression of this wine being an empty shell, I thought either terroir or concept must have gone AWOL. Then I thought maybe none of them are missing, it’s just that they are both nondescript. All this belated and awkward rationalization was a consequence of my left hemisphere trying to come to terms with the fact that for the very first time the word ’soulless’ has cropped up in my tasting notes.

Actually, there is nothing wrong with this wine. The grapes must have been ripe but not overripe, extraction wasn’t overdone, the wine is not jammy, nor is it too tannic. There is no sign of any wine faults, no brett, no VA, not even reduction. And it was aged in top-drawer oak.

My problems began with the realization that the best thing about this wine is the quality of the oak. All other potential merits pale into insignificance. Not that the barrels were made of the über-toasted staves that were so popular in Villány – and all over the world – around the millennium to spice up their raspberry and cassis syrups. I have tasted this wine over three days and my repeated attempts to identify something more than the amazing aromas of top quality toasted oak have come to nothing more than the sensation of alcoholic heat. Considering how strong the character of syrah – or for that matter of shiraz – is, this is no mean feat.

4 points which is a miserly return for 25 euros.