Top Ten California Syrahs - 2016

I tend to taste and drink a lot of wine over the course of a year. I am in a few tasting groups, sometimes the wines are consumed at various local wine store tastings and a number drunk with friends and family.

2016 Jonata Winery Todos, USA, California, Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

This is the base wine for this winery.  It seems to be a blend of the barrels that didn't make the grade of single varietal releases.  Todos means all.  That doesn't make it a bad wine by any means.  In fact, this is an outstanding wine and excellent value compared to those single varietal wines.  it is a blend 60% Syrah, 10% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, with the rest Petite Sirah and Viognier.

2010 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Crozes-Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

This is a Syrah from the Northern Rhone Valley in France.  Crozes-Hermitage is a great source of values and this is one of the best wines made.  At age ten, this is cruising along and just entering adulthood.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, black olives, slight bacon fat and spice.  Pretty classic.  On the palate, this shows a tight complexity that unwinds in the glass.  Layers of black raspberries with an earthiness and a meatiness to it.  Delicious.  Long finish.  This should drink well for the nest ten years.  A nice match with brisket or roasted chi

2018 Carlisle Syrah Sonoma County, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

This is the basic Syrah from Carlisle.  It is always a great value in Syrah.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, slight black cherries with a bit if char and spice.  Medium to full bodied.  On the palate, this drinks great upon unscrewing the cap.  Juicy black raspberries with a bit of concentration.  Persistent and energetic.  Nice texture.  Good finish.  This will gain some complexity and may even improve bit over the next five years.  It seems like it should drink well until at least 2030.  A nice match with grilled meats or chicken although it drinks we

2018 Cellier des Dauphins Côtes du Rhône Reserve Grenache-Syrah, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$15.00USD

This is 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah.  It comes in an attractive more squat bottle.  Ruby in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose is warm with a dusty attic quality.  Lots of cherries with garrique.  Also some old wood notes.  Very comforting.  On the palate, this is ripe/sweet on the attack.  Black cherries and slight cherry pie filling.  Some acidity.  This took about an hour or air to settle out.  Served to a small socially distanced group, this was quite popular.  It drinks well on its own and would be a great match for barbecues ribs or chicken this summer.  It should probably be co

2016 Keplinger Sumo Shake Ridge, USA, California, Amador County, wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$75.00USD

I am a big fan of the Helen Keplinger wines.  This one is 84% Petite Sirah, 13% Syrah, and 3% Viognier.  It does need some cellaring or lots of air if serving now, but it is delicious.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, blueberries, smoke, slight charred earth and black pepper.  On the palate, this is a big wine, but has great delineation.  Layers, tightly packed of blueberries, black raspberries and charred wood.  Great energy.  This probably needs about five to eight more years until peak and should drink beautifully for ten to twelve after that.  I

2016 François Villard Crozes-Hermitage Certitude, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$25.00USD

Crozes is an excellent source for great values in Syrah.  This is another example.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, slight bacon fat and roasted meats and black olives.  Full bodied.  On the palate, the black raspberries are upfront with underlying minerality and char.  This is drinking deliciously now, but it seems to have the stuffing to improve a bit.  it certainly has ten years left, or more, of great drinking.  A nice match for charcuterie or roasted meats and veggies.   

2013 Epoch Estate Wines Authenticity Paderewski Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Willow Creek, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$75.00USD

This is drinking very well these days.  It is a blend of 82% Syrah and 18% Mourvèdre.  Inky purple in color.  The nose is great with black raspberries, roasted meats, slight violets and a bit of earthiness.  Full bodied.  On the palate, this has a lush structure.  Juicy black raspberry fruit over a bit of smoke and earth.  Nice energy.  Long finish.  This may still improve a bit.  It will make great drinking over the next ten to twelve years.  A nice match for ribs on the grill or roasted veggies.  

2016 Campesino Syrah Las Madres, USA, California, Carneros, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

Another great Syrah from Campesino.  This is in the vein of the Northern Rhone but with lots of good California sunshine.  Purple in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose is very nice with black raspberries, black olives, slight dried lavender and a hint of moist turned earth.  On the palate, this is smooth and easy to drink.  But, there is also nice depth with good acidity.  It opens beautifully in the glass showing black raspberry fruit and underlying earthiness.  Nice finish.  This may still improve but it will make nice drinking for another ten to twelve years.  A great match for f

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