BC Wine Studio Siren’s Call Syrah, 2012

There is a Cookie Monster bit from decades ago where he learns how to make cookies from scratch. With all the ingredients set before him he devours all the flour in one go. Then he eats all the sugar. Then the butter. Etc. He doesn’t understand that the components which make up the cookies he loves are just constituent pieces, and that it’s the ability, even artistry, to combine, in balance, that counts. In essence, the Siren’s Call is a bit like the component pieces of a brilliant red, but they are just the pieces, not the final product.


Glass half full, it’s hard to believe the OK turned out what is a very good facsimile of a South Australian Shiraz; it has the kick and vigor and burnt sun texture of something from Barossa. And to come from a relative newbie shows that perseverance furthers; if I was down the valley at the more established houses I’d be rethinking my market.


Glass half empty, it’s chalky, stiff, rough around the edges with moments of genius and an unevenness on the palate that is disconcerting. It hits with vanilla, then chokes. It rises with smoky dark fruits, then tanks. It’s like the Bizarro at Six Flags; up and down, up and down.


We liked it. All of the heady overwrought perfume and overbearing tannins. We can see why it would win favour in the Lieutenant Governor’s 2015 wine competition. We just didn’t like it enough to drop $26 on another bottle when, yes, the Australians have refined their brash reds to a much more, um, refined degree.


Four stars to the label design.


Price: $26 at Mud Bay


Market Liquidity: Unfinished business.

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