Here's my first real wine review of 2006. Which reminds me--I'm approaching my one year blogiversary or whatever the hell they call it. I actually maintained a completely different blog for most of 2004, in which I did reviews of every movie I watched. At the end, I started writing about wine, and decided to make a clean break with a new blog tied to my real name. The old one used a pseudonym, and contained a lot of late night angsty rants... I might post a link in the future for the amusement of my handful of readers.
I had this sometime between Christmas and New Year's... I jotted down notes, took a photo, and kept meaning to get back to it. Without further ado, I present the 2002 Parker Station Syrah. Even though I loved the Lot 51 Red, I didn't realize that this wine was also from the vineyards of the classic TV actor Fess Parker. This Santa Barbera Syrah is touted as "The best Syrah you can afford to drink daily". I think I paid $10 for this bottle, and that's an apt tag line. There's some good berry flavors, and decently balanced tannins, but mostly it's a red wine that you could drink with damned near any meal and be happy. I don't think it's as good as the Rock Rabbit Syrah, but it's definitely a tasty little wine.
Do you want to know what really drew me in? The label. It's an attractive rounded triangle, clean 50s-era type, and a humble raccoon logo framed in a gold leaf circle. I'm not even particularly fond of raccoons (after years of camping trips and late night driving), but I still love this label. It's sort of a perfect combination of 1950s graphic design motifs set on a heraldric shield. I would have just used all caps instead of the roughly 90% small caps they use for the name, but the rest of the design is lovely. (Sorry, at times the old career overwhelms everything else.)