This 2003 Syrah from Gordon Brothers in the Columbia Valley of Washington is a pretty unique Syrah. It has some of the rich mouthfeel, deep color, fruit & pepper that you expect from American Syrah, but it also has some characteristics that could be called Old World.
In your glass, you see the deep, purple-red color that you expect from the more extracted and concentrated style of New World Syrah. It has just a hint of rust or brick that is common with wines that have seen some bottle aging. It is the nose though that makes it quite unique. In addition to the typical blackfruit, pepper, and spice, you get that a little hint of "barnyard" or earthy smell that is so common with Old World French wines. In your mouth you get decent acidity with some nice tannins to balance everything out. The body is full, and in addition to plum, cherry and pepper, you also get a hint of chocolate on the palate.
Overall I think this wine is a decent value for $18, but I would caution that those who feel strongly about either New World Syrah/Shiraz or a great Northern Rhone might find elements in this wine that they won't like.
I enjoyed this unique Syrah with some spicy barbecued ribs. It would probably pair even better with a leg of lamb or some spicy Thai.