Red Bicyclette Syrah

May 10, 2006

First off, my apologies for the long absence. What can I say? Life, work and other things do get in the way sometimes. It’s been an interesting month to say the least. And on that note, I’d like to publicly thank Dr. Broughton and the wonderful folks at the Pembina Veterinary Hospital for saving the life of my beloved little feline friend. She’s the only cat I’ve ever known who will go for your wine if you leave the glass on the floor, and she prefers to go for Sauvignon Blanc (although my wife and I neither encourage nor even allow this).

I’m afraid to say posting will continue to be sporadic in May and June (although more regular than April was) as I’ll be away several times and have a lot of work piling up at my day job. Hopefully as the summer rolls in, I’ll have more time to enjoy wine and to write about it too.

Anyways, expect to see my Winnipeg Wine Festival report in the next few days. I’m also working on a series of posts about a topic that will bring my day job and my wine blog closer together. Stay tuned for more details and for now, I’ll leave you with this tasting note:

Red Bicyclette Syrah (2004)

So the worldwide Gallo wine empire now has an outpost in France. Their Red Bicyclette line (available at your neighbourhood MLCC for $15.99 per bottle) comes in three flavours – Chardonnay, Merlot and Syrah. I’ve secretly been enjoying the Merlot for months now, ever since a friend foisted a bottle on me at a dinner party. So in my ongoing quest for a decent French red under $20, I decided to give the Syrah a shot at glory.

And you know what? This really was good. It’s a bit lighter than some of its cousins, and it was somewhat shy and reserved at first. But the Red Bicyclette showed off tonnes of gorgeous cherry fruit and pepper on the nose, and this carried through into the mouth. There was a surprising amount of well-balanced tannins (especially given the light colour), and there was a lot more complexity in the glass than I had expected. My only complaint is that the finish was a bit weaker than I’d like. But it tasted so good… And the flavours were still strong a day later.

For $16, it’s verging on being a bit steep. For a good French wine in this category, I’d usually go for the Perrin family’s ‘VF’ Syrah/Grenache instead. But it is a very tasty, very appealing wine with a lot more complexity than you would expect. Even the packaging is sort of cute in a kitschy faux-French kind of way. Very tasty and very easy to recommend. Their website is worth a visit too, even if only for the recipes.


  1. […] On a related note, I see that the MLCC has reduced the price of Gallo’s Red Bicyclette line of tasty French wines. They have dropped from almost $16 down to $13.99. Good on them. It’s nice to see the MLCC actually reduce a price. And the wines were a decent buy at $16, but for $13.99 they are an even better deal. […]

  2. Guess what……it is still very good and can now be had for $9.00…..that is a steal for this wine. Bought a case today for my stock.

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