Santa Ema is a Chilean Winery founded by Italian immigrants. Best known for some of their value priced wines, they also make some selections in premium price ranges. The 2003 Santa Ema Syrah is amongst their value priced offerings. Retail is around $11 but it can generally be found in the $8 price range.
Deep garnet in color, this wine offers spice, earthiness and a bouquet of blueberries on the nose. The first sip reveals more dark berry fruit, loads of pepper and soft, ripe tannins, all which carry through the mid-palate. The finish features chocolate and subtle leather notes. There is some noticeable oak but it's use was judicious as it doesn't get in the way of the fruit. The Santa Ema Syrah is well balanced with appropriate acidity. This wine is a perfect match for pizza or a dish of pasta. It's bound to go nicely with dark chocolate as well.
Considering the relatively low price tag, this wine is a nice bargain. It delivers more varietal character than is often found at this price range, as well as a decent amount of complexity. That said it's surely not intended for long term aging. Drink this one up before the calender hits 2009.
Coming Next Week: A Look at 6 current releases from Sonoma's Schug Winery.
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