Hayman & Hill 2002 Monterey County "Reserve Selection" Shiraz-Viognier ($11.99)
Spanning three continents in its marketing if not its style, this California wine adopts the Australian name "Shiraz," while emulating the practice of the French Northern Rhone by using a splash (7 percent) of white Viognier to "lift" the hearty red with the white grape's aromatic flavors. The result, sadly, is a bit spoiled by a whack of new oak that brings to the nose an unfortunate impression of freshly sanded wooden floors. Inky blackish-purple with a day-glo violet edge, the wine's woody, almost resinous oak aromas are less than appealing, but the flavor redeems the wine with bright and forward red-berry flavors and crisp acidity, with oak present only as a spice. US Importer: (Jan 3, 2006)

FOOD MATCH: A rare pan-seared flatiron steak helps bring the wine around, showcasing its fruit while diminishing that markedly oaky aroma.

Wine notes in 'shelf-hanger' format:
We publish Wine Lovers' Page tasting reports in the familiar "shelf-hanger" size and format, to make it easy for wine merchants or collectors to print them out, clip and post them where this wine is displayed. We do ask, however, that the WineLoversPage.com name, logo and URL be left intact, and that these reports be used with the specific wines rated, not different bottlings or vintages.

Our tasting policy:
All my wine-tasting reports are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I accept no free samples from wineries or distributors, purchasing all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores.

View the previous tasting note: Mountain Dome Brut Washington State Sparkling Wine
View the next tasting note: Bishop's Peak 2003 Central Coast Pinot Noir