I don't remember how much I paid for this bottle but I hope it was under 10 dollars.
Eyes: lighter than a typical Syrah
Nose: nice nose. Not overly fruity but balanced with black pepper, plums and hints of maraschino cherries.
Palate: I just opened this bottle so it is quite tannic but this will dissipate with about half an hour or so of air. Still there are nice black cherries and blueberry flavors that comingle with a touch of heat.
Finish:soft and unassuming but also a bit on the weak side. Green grape stem flavor at the end of the finish. I'm interested in what this will do with a bit of air time. We'll see....
After about 2 hours of breathing the tannins have softened considerably leaving only a touch of acid noticeable. This is the syrah equivalent of a light beer. This makes the Red Bicyclette 2004 Syrah a not overly complex wine or even a very good representative of the varietal. Still what it loses in sophistication, it gains in drinkability and mass appeal. This is definitely a decent wine for entertaining or drinking when you just want something to drink rather than something to taste or consider.
While I reviewed the 2004 vintage here, PB, below reviewed the 2003 and found it hot and "minerally" and not the most pleasant. The 2004 does not have those characteristics so, if you're buying now for Thanksgiving and want a low price French Syrah for your casually inclined guests, this could definitely fit the bill.
If you can get it for under $10 a bottle, grab one or two and save them for the next time you have guests. Otherwise look for something a bit more typical of a Syrah. Either way, remember to Raise a Glass!