1997 Ojai Syrah (California)
Translucent ruby red. Dominated by vivid dried cherry aromas with some leathery nuances. It's really all about the fruit, which is not like cherry, or reminiscent of cherry, it is essence of dried cherries. Quite shocking in its cherry-ness. Picks up more cola and spice with air.
2004 Ojai Syrah Thompson Vineyard
Darker in hue and temperament than the 97. Still has lots of edges that cellar time could round out. More in the ripe blackberry realm. Meatier. Heavier (much like its bottle).
On first taste al have preferred the 97. We'll see how dinner goes.
Democracy dies in the darkness