2007 Montes Alpha Syrah Colchagua

Great Super Bowl (wine)

Bottom line: Beauty and brawn wrapped up in a tidy and affordable (if you shop around) package. Delish.  $15-25

The rest of the story: South American wines often suffer from an astringent tinge and overpowering green pepper flavor.  At the same time, they can posess a refreshing honesty to varietal characteristics and be just plain tasty.  On occasion we come across one that overcomes the flaws of the lesser wines without betraying its heritage. 

This is one of those wines.

Blackish and thick in the glass, the Montes Alpha Syrah is the upper class sibling to Montes'  "Classic" wines, which themselves are worth seeking out.  Polished, full bodied and dense, it manages to be open and accessible from the cork pull.  It's almost Australian in its structure and fruit, but without the massive, flabby saddlebags that many southern hemisphere wines at this price point have.

It's got some sophistication, to be sure, but doesn't ask to be analyzed - it's easy to love at first sip, decanted or not.  Tannins are in check, but tell you that this one can go some distance in the bottle - 5 plus years, probably. If red meat is on your menu, fire it up with this bad girl.

We paid $14.99 for it, but you're more likely going to find it higher than that and possibly as high as $25.  We like it A LOT at $15, but anywhere north of $20, we'd wait for it to come down.  And, don't worry, it will.