With three grape varieties from three different locations and three ageing regimes (new oak, old oak and stainless steel), it's perhaps not surprising that I'm initially somewhat wrong-footed by this wine.
Garnet in the glass, at just two years old, it already shows some paleness around the rim.
Straight from the bottle, there is a perfumey nose of ripe dark fruits, smokiness, liquorice, spice and a touch of undergrowth.
The palate is soft and supple with ripe, perhaps overripe, cooked cassis, black cherry and elderberry fruit and some typical Syrah inkiness. The finish is dry and grippy.
It feels well made in most respects, but for me, I would prefer less jamminess and more texture.
Re-sampled on the second day, it seems much more harmonious and sensible - it's still quite perfumey but the texture is now wonderfully soft and inky with juicy acidity whilst the finish now feels balanced with a firm grip.
By the third and fourth days, it has become significantly more interesting - on the nose, there is funky vegetal decay, black cherry fruit, woodsmoke and tarriness.
On the palate, the ripe, juicy dark berry fruit, pencil shavings and inky, custardy texture show through, and the baked-blueberry perfuminess is much less prominent.
It feels long on the palate and the finish is now pleasantly firm and balanced.
After being initially underwhelmed, I eventually find myself enjoying this much more once it's had sufficient airing. At its best when the Syrah characteristics dominate, I can't help wondering if it would not have been better as a varietal wine.
As it is, I would give this a couple more years in bottle, plus a bit of time in the decanter.
With its high acidity and a firm grip on the finish, it's definitely a food wine - despite the ripeness - so match with salami and bread with olive oil, or plain roast game.
The 2007 is available in the UK for £11.50 at Swig; provided for review.
Abbotts & Delaunay - http://www.abbottsetdelaunay.com/
Swig - http://swig.co.uk/