OK that's probably overstating it, hopefully nobody actually dies during this side by side tasting challenge.
Both wines were aerated and decanted for 30-60 minutes.
Cedarcreek 2009 Platinum Syrah
Putting your nose into a glass of this is akin to smearing your face in blackberry and raspberry jam. The overwhelming aromas of berries continue through to the fabulous palate. A hint of spice on a long, lingering finish. Superb. 92.
Desert Hills 2008 Syrah
It's almost inconceivable that these two wines are the same grape, from the same region, and only one year apart. This one doesn't have anywhere near the fruit-forwardness of the above. It has earthy notes, with a touch of leather, figs and even a hint of tobacco. A touch of spice but not too much. It couldn't be much more different than tonight's challenge-mate, but it is also very, very good. 90.
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