The Michael David Sixth Sense Syrah 2015 is Syrah with a little bit of Petite Sirah added, grown in vineyards in the Lodi AVA, which is south and east of Napa Valley. The Michael David in the title are the Phillips brothers, they are the 5th generation of Phillips to work these lands (the 6th generation work there, too) on property their family founded in 1865. They grew fruit, but not always grapes (grapes came about in the early 1900s) and they founded the current winery in 1984. The 6th Sense Syrah was aged in French oak barrels for 12 months, 80% in medium to dark char to give it the wine some darker spice and caramelized flavors and the other 20% in lighter char (the barrel makers set fire to the inside of the barrels, charring the wood, the level of char is to the winemakers specifications) to give sweeter flavors. The alcohol content is a stout 15%.
The color is a dark, very dark ruby-red with black highlights. The nose is lush, ripe blackberry, oak spice, cherry wood smoke, bacon fat, French vanilla, milk chocolate, leather, and spice. This is a full-bodied, ripe and spicy wine. It tastes of blackberry with a little sweet raspberry, a little cola, pepper, BBQ spice, and woodsy note. The mid-palate adds vanilla and chocolate swirl, herbs, chocolate powder and blueberry. The tannins are sweet and the acidity is well-balanced with the body of the wine. The finish mirrors the body of the wine and slowly drifts away.
The Michael David Sixth Sense Syrah 2015 just flat-out delivers (I found it on sale for $12), it’s full of flavor, sweet fruity flavor and dark and challenging flavor, giving it far more depth and complexity than your average $12 Red wine. Michael David are positioning this Syrah as a BBQ wine, but I think it is much more than that (not that I don’t love BBQ wine). This is a wine worth spending some time with and getting well acquainted with what the wine has to offer. Syrah/Shiraz used to be all the rage until the economy hit a downturn almost 9 years ago. The US economy was hit harder than the Australian economy and the exchange rate got knocked out of whack. What was once a $13 Shiraz then sold for $18, and while people will gladly spend $13 for an $18 wine, the other way around was untenable. When Shiraz hit the wall, for some reason all Syrah/Shiraz stopped selling, about the same time Malbec was good, cheap, plentiful and after that Zinfandel caught on. But folks forgot about Syrah. The Australian price problem wasn’t the grapes fault, Syrah is still one of the world’s great grapes. Expensive Syrah/Shiraz still sold, but the value priced Syrah took a hit. Luckily the 6th Sense is still carrying the Syrah flag, it’s a really solid well-priced Syrah.