Maker: Rebel Wine, St. Helena, Napa County, California
Packaging: 1-liter jug, screw cap
Our Rating: 8 out of 10
How do you get your wine to stand out on the shelf when its surrounded by hundreds of other wines? If you are packaging Three Thieves Syrah 2003, you put your wine in a clear, 1-liter jug. That's right, a jug, complete with the glass carrying/swigging ring on the neck. The novel packaging makes it stand out, although shelving may be tough - the shop I bought the Three Thieves jug in had relegated it to the highest shelf and left the prime selling space for conventional bottles.
The wine starts with a peppery, oaky, smoky nose. It's medium-bodied on the palate, with red berry flavors mixed with spice and oak notes. The finish is rather brief and unexceptional. Overall, Three Thieves Syrah is a pleasant enough wine - it's not as robust as some Australian or California shirazes, but for those who like a slightly lighter wine it will serve well.
We've heard that Three Thieves also has some boxed wines (also one liter) as well as single serving packs (think "Juicy Juice" with 13% alcohol) - we'd like to give those a try, but they haven't migrated to our local shelves yet. We tried to check out their website to identify some other retailers, but got no farther than a "Bad Gateway" error from their server. It's actually surprising how many winery websites seem to run into major tech issues.