Penner-Ash touts its '03 Rubeo as an "irreverent blend of Pinot Noir and Syrah." My curiosity was piqued enough to get over my snobbish horror that Pinot Noir was being 'defiled' with Syrah (OK, perhaps defiled is too strong a term).
First, the details:
26% Syrah; 74% Pinot Noir
Without knowing anything other than this, I suspected that the wine would taste like a heavy, or perhaps, peppery Pinot. I was wrong.
Penner-Ash Rubeo, '03 ($18)
- From Oregon (no AVA/region specified)
- Deep, inky indigo in color with a narrow, pink rim
- Red and black cherry scents coupled with toasty, vanilla, oak-driven aromas. There's also scents of tar and black pepper that remind me of Aussie Shiraz.
- Full-bodied with heavy-duty concentrated fruit flavors of dark fruits (black plums, blackberries, etc.). Heavy? Yes; perhaps approaching fruit bomb territory, but balanced enough to play nicely with assertive food (e.g. pasta w/spicy tomato sauce). Just don't expect it to pair harmoniously with shrimp in Beurre Blanc
*** (3 stars out of 5)
I can't say that this wine possesses any distinctly Pinot qualities. It reminds me of a New World Rhone blend (something along the lines of Syrah + Grenache). Nevertheless, a nice, exuberant wine at, perhaps, a slightly high price.