2005 Gravity Hills Base Camp Syrah

Update 2008-Oct-07 – Trader Joe’s has reduced the price on this bottling to $2.99

Price: $4.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

Per the winery “Take a sip, and the velvety-smooth body caresses your palate as flavors tumble over one another in succession – strawberry, black cherry, plum, blueberries, licorice, white pepper, leather – continuing on to an extra-long finish. Down, boy! Base Camp Syrah goes out of its way to make friends with all kinds of food. With its mineral-fresh, lively acidity, it plays well with creamy cheese, pasta, roasted chicken, red meat and exotic, spicy dishes, like a Moroccan lamb stew.”

What I Think:

As mentioned with the Zinfandel it again appears Trader Joe’s is selling at $15 bottle of wine for $5. Unlike the Zin, this one seems to be worth the price of admission!

The start was a bit rocky as the nose was muted to non-existent on night one. From there it was all upside. Nice dark fruit as it enters the mouth intermingled with earthy notes. As a bonus, I was even able to find varietal characteristics as it showed some mint mid-palate. That gives way to spice that lingers on through a velvety finish. A pleasant surprise, as the Zin drastically lowered my expectations. I’ll be grabbing another bottle or two of this one.

Rating: Buy It

2005 Gravity Hills Tumbling Tractor Zinfandel

Price: $4.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

Per the winery which seems to be on the ’02 but the Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer used the same description so we will roll with it….”But it all results in a delightful wine with elegance and complexity that’s lacking in some of the super-ripe, alcoholic Zins from the area. Sniff the exuberant bouquet of raspberries, blackberries, cinnamon and ginger. Feel the ample roundness in your mouth, with layers of fruit, spice and oak continually unfolding. Savor the long, balanced finish.”

What I Think:

This goes for $15 on the winery website. Again amazing and curious as to how Trader Joe’s can offer it at $5. Perhaps the winery is defunct? Nothing on the website is updated since August 2006.

Now to the bottle, not overly fruity, more dry…is it Zin or is it just any red? No berries and only a bit of the spice that I would expect. Mint and hints of herb are more apparent and remind me more of a Cab and that is even before the slightly medicinal finish. Not over the top like the Red Flyer so it doesn’t seem like this was made in the lab.

All that said, not sure why I want to give this one a pass. Guessing because I wished I liked it more as I’d feel like I was getting a steal. I did grab the syrah, perhaps that will make me feel better! As for this one you should take a pass, if you want a $5 Zin grab this TBD offering…

Rating: Skip It