Monday, May 11, 2009

Vina Mayu Reserve Syrah 2006

This wine was awarded 5 stars in the June 2009 edition of Decanter magazine.  Oddly though, the Chilean Syrah tasting that gave us this result was divided in to 3 price points: under £10, £10 - £20, and over £20.  This is unusual (at least I've never seen it before), and what it means is that a wine in the sub £10 category such as this one that scored 5 stars, is not of the same quality as one that scored 5 stars in one of the other categories. Basically what they're saying is that this wine is probably the best it can be for its price point.  I'm not sure I like this - as you can't really get a picture of where one particular wine lies in the quality stakes relative to the other ones, except the ones sharing the same price point category.

Anyways, the Elqui valley is Chile's most northerly (and highest) wine region and has garnered much attention recently for its cool-climate Syrah.  Not really knowing what to expect, I decided to buy a few bottles a) because of the Decanter result and b) because it also happened to be on offer at Majestic.

It's pretty good.  I didn't think it was massively similar to its Rhone counterpart - it's very obviously New World, and it's obviously Chilean as well.  There is a character in Chilean wines, a   kind of green peppery note, that betrays their origin.  It's not unpleasant or anything though, it's just sort of "there".  The wine has a lot of "sweet", ripe fruit character, and if it wasn't for the peppery (now I'm talking black pepper) finish, I could mistake it for a Cabernet Sauvignon rather than a Syrah.

I paid £7.99 for it, and I'm not sure I would pay the full price of £9.99.  I was also drinking it outdoors at a BBQ, and I find that wine can seem different in that sort of situation.   I have a few more bottles of it to try, but for now I think "pretty good" is a decent assessment. 

Syrah Rerserva 2006
Elqui Valley, Chile
£7.99 (£9.99)


  1. The Mayu Tasting I read in Decanter June 2009 was for 2007 vintage not 2006. Regards Ian

  2. Hi Ian,

    That's odd. I just checked this morning in my copy of Decanter, and it is in fact the 2006 vintage that was given 5 stars.

    Either way, did you like the wine?