Walla Walla Valley, Washington State, cork
I'm scared of buying wines from the US. The fake, syrupy sweetness of the cheaper offerings and a perception of gross over-pricing amongst the better quality bottles means I normally steer clear. From what I can gather Amavi Cellars are a sister winery/second label of Pepperbridge Winery. I can't remember how much this cost, but I think it was about $200. Things got a little dangerous when I opened this; the glass on the lip splinted, the cork crumbled and it was a bit touch and go whether we were going to be drinking glass shards and cork crumbs.
Amavi Cellars Syrah 2003 is pretty dark in colour with a red-tinge - actually it's a similar shade to the hair of the blokes who drive minibuses between Yuen Long and Mong Kok. This smells absolutely spectacular; it's one lush hit of big flavours including plums, white pepper and coffee. This really is screaming out classic cool climate Syrah. On the palate there's a mash of red fruits with plenty of blueberries and plums, but what wins this for me is the smooth, smooth texture. Fine tannins, warm but controlled alcohol and a long palate all complete the seductive silkiness of this to make it a beautiful package. Amavi Cellars Syrah 2003 comes highly recommended; it's the best wine I've had from the US.
Visit winery website.