Guest Post

Bodegas Nieto Senetiner, Syrah 2004

by Tim Elliott on January 31, 2007

Editor’s Note: This is a listener submitted tasting note for Wine Blogging Wednesday from Lucas Hendrich. If you don’t have a blog and would like to participate, just email your notes to me and I will post them here and include them in my round up post for this event. You have one week from today to pick up a New World Syrah/Shiraz. Thanks for being early, Lucas!


I’m no blogger, but this is my first stab at WBW. I’m writing from Tigre, Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

My New World Syrah is a Bodegas Nieto Senetiner 2004 Syrah.

Syrah seems to be taking hold in Argentina as a third option to Malbec, whose fame domestically is only rivalled by Cabernet Sauvignon. That said, this is a country where jug wine ruled until very recently (partly because the jug wine isn’t that bad), and it is not out of the ordinary to see people put ice cubes in their wine (the lesson: don’t bring your best wine to the asado), so the whole varietal thing is kind of new in terms of popular wine culture.

I chose a mid to lower priced wine at 18 pesos, which is like 18 dollars in terms of buying power but with the exchange rate at 3 to 1 it comes in at around 6 dollars. Bodegas Nieto Senetiner has a more boutique/lower production line called Don Nicanor, but I didn’t have time to look for it.

So here are the notes:

The appearance of this wine is a deep ruby color with a rosy tinge around the edge. Good but not great legs.

The nose is earthly, with tabacco, leather, black pepper, then hints of blackberry fruit and violets.

On first taste, this is a seriously earthy wine, with garden herbs and black pepper and surprisingly little fruit; on second taste, the medium tannins and a lasting blackberry/blueberry fruit provide a good but not altogether smooth finish – the mouthfeel is a little jagged. The lingering black pepper and blackberry are satisfying.

Overall impression: This is a tough, chewy wine, and it has a kick (14.5%). The persistent black pepper and blackberry fruit make up for its rough finish. I served this wine with a marinated skirt steak and it went deliciously; I think it would be even better matched with venison, rabbit or goat. 8.75 out of 10, mostly because despite its roughness, I’m intrigued with the Old World-ness of this New World wine, as it is less fruit-forward than I expected.

I hope this is in the spirit of WBW!