Wine Advent-ure Calendar Day 20: Flew the Coup Syrah (Pays d’Oc IGP)

(I absent-mindedly removed the foil before taking this picture)

Winery Location: France (Pays d’Oc)

For Day 20 we return to the Southern French region of Pays d’Oc to try the Syrah called “Flew the Coup”. When I think of Syrah I think of a bold, uncompromising wine, and this opaque purple beauty with a rich aroma of black cherry, blackberry, spice and smoke was promising to be just that.

Then I tasted the Syrah, and I learned that a bitter truth – sometimes a wine can over-deliver on a promise. Flew the Coup was incredibly tannin-heavy, with an aggressive astringency that muted the dark fruit flavors and even some of the smoke and pepper. The first couple of sips was just a wall of bitterness that coated my teeth and tongue. I’m no stranger to tannins, indeed I can appreciate the “oomph” (scientific term) or structure they often bring to many red wines that would just be weak and flimsy without them. But you can have too much of a good thing and too many tannins can make a wine harsh and unpleasant to drink.

But fret not, all isn’t lost with this wine. There is redemption! Sometimes with reds you have to let them breathe. I let this wine for a good hour or so and came back to it. The bitterness had lessened and the flavors started to come through, especially the dark cherry, blackberry and plum. They even lingered on the finish. I think this beautiful taste is what Flew the Coup was meant to be, I just needed time to let it breathe.

So in my opinion, Flew the Coup is a good wine, if you take the time and let it air out to lessen the harshness. Alternatively I think this may be a good wine to age for a year or two before drinking, at that those tannins will start breaking down and you should have a lush red that will be the envy of many wines. In short, this is a wine for the patient.

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