1986 Château Clerc Milon, France, Bordeaux, Pauillac, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1986
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$105.00USD

It's always fun to try older Bordeaux's.  This one still had something to offer if a bit past its prime.  Ruby in color, with slight browning at the rim.  The nose offered cherries, dried cherries, slight stewed fruits and a nice tobacco funk.  On the palate, this has a nice complexity with cherry fruit over forest floor.  Good acidity.  If you own any, drink up soon.  It went well with all kinds of food.  

2010 SonkinCellars Persona, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-

This is our wine so this review is biased.  The wine was included in a blind tasting of Santa Barbara Syrahs with my tasting group.  I suspected this was it but wasn't sure (it was narrowed down to two wines).  It was quite a relief that this did not finish last and in fact, finished 4/10 with 1 first and 2 third place votes (I had it in 3rd).  Blind - my thoughts are:  Inky purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, coffee, white pepper and slight earthiness.  On the palate, this has balanced but juicy acidity.  Layers of black raspberries and earth with some meat/pepper notes.  Thi

2013 Ojai Syrah Roll Ranch Vineyard, USA, California, Ventura, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$55.00USD

I really enjoyed this bottle as I have in many vintages.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has black raspberries, spice, black pepper and a meaty note.  On the palate, this is young and tannic.  Certainly seems like there is some upside to holding these for a while.  Chewy tannins.  Lots of black raspberry fruit and a slight char.  Long finish.  This will be great on its own or with meaty/fatty dishes.  

2016 Carr Vineyards & Winery Syrah Tierra Alta, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Ballard Canyon, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$60.00USD

This is very young and hopefully a few years in the cellar shows some improvement.  It is a good wine right now and presents itself in a more Northern Rhone style.  Inky purple in color.  The nose is spicy with slight green notes and some black raspberries.  That spicy quality carries thru to the palate along with some tart red cherry fruit.  Light tannins.  A tangy finish.  Strong acidity that really needs some fatty foods to work with it.  It was not helped by being in the same lineup as some more warmer climate, riper Syrahs.  

2012 Levo Syrah Bad Medicine, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+

This was my first time trying wine.  It is a solid wine.  Whether it is worth the $40 price tag is up to you.  It did seem a bit advanced so perhaps look for younger vintages.  Purple in color with some browning.  The nose is dusty with black cherries.  On the palate, this is tart with black cherry fruit.  Also a black olive note.  This drinks like a cooler climate Syrah.  It will work with a wide variety of foods; stews will be great.  

2007 Jaffurs Syrah Upslope, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2007
Score: 
95
Grade: 
Current Price: 
$75.00USD

This was my personal favorite (the group's 2nd) in a recent blind tasting of Santa Barbara Syrahs.  Just a sensational bottle of wine,  Inky purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, black coffee, white pepper and roasted meats.  Deep.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Black raspberry fruit over a clay-ish base.  It unwinds in the glass with lighter tannins.  Long finish.  This is a big wine but with a lovely elegance to it as well.  I doubt it gets better from here but easily has another decade or more left at this level.  It will go with bigger meats and stews.  

2009 McPrice Myers Syrah Larner Vineyard, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2009
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is very nice with black raspberries, baking spice, black pepper and a bit of roasted meats.  On the palate, this is more black cherry than darker fruit.  Its ripe with firm tannins.  Drinking youthfully, this will benefit from air or further cellaring.  It has good acidity and a nice depth to it.  It will need bigger foods or drink it on its own.  In our group tasting the got four first place votes out of ten and was the groups WOTN.  

2013 Tensley Syrah Colson Canyon Vineyard, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$48.00USD

Tensley makes some of the best AND best value Syrahs anywhere.  This wine is outstanding.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is dusty with spice, black raspberries, slight black pepper and bit of coffee.  There is some volatile acidity on this wine.  Whether that is an issue depends on your tolerance.  On the palate, this is sweet and slightly cloying.  Ripe vs. Residual Sugar?  I think a bit of RS but not crazy.  Lots of black raspberry fruit.  Slightly cloying.  This is a tough fruit match but a tasty wine that drinks well on its own and will work with spicy foods.  

2016 Fess Parker Syrah, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$19.00USD

Ah, Daniel Boone.  RIP.  Sometimes Fess Parker wines get dissed by the cognoscenti.  That's too bad as they make really good wines at affordable prices.  This was purchased for $25 and was an excellent Syrah.  It kept getting better with air.  It probably needs a nice decant or a few more years in a cellar but it was very enjoyable right now.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is dusty with spice and black raspberries.  On the palate, this drinks delicious.  Juice acidity.  Black raspberry fruit with a softer texture.  Black olives.  It is sweet with what sees to be slight residua

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