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.

2018 Sine Qua Non Syrah Ziehharmonika, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
99
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$235.00USD

 This is a blend of 82% Syrah, 7% Mourvèdre, 6% Grenache, and 5% Petite Sirah.  Like many SQN wines, this weights in at 15.8% abv but there is no hint on the nose or palate.  Delicious wine.  Inky purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has black raspberries, white pepper, roasted meats and roasted herbs.  Full bodied with a lush but lively texture.  On the palate, this is surprisingly drinkable even at this young age.  Loads of black raspberries with underlying char and black pepper.  Deep.  Long finish.  Drinks great on its own but will work well with grilled, roasted or braised meats

2018 Tablas Creek Le Complice, USA, California, Paso Robles, Adelaida, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

This is a blend of 60% Syrah, 25% Grenache and 15% Terret Noir grapes.  Purple in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, black pepper and roasted herbs.  Full bodied with firm tannins.  On the palate, black raspberries with some char underneath.  Delicious.  Nice acidity.  Long finish.  They Syrah is dominating now but this should gain some complexity with a few more years in bottle.  Drink over the next twelve to fifteen years.  This would work great with Indian or Thai food with a bit of spice.  

2015 Alain Voge Cornas Les Vieilles Vignes, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$95.00USD

Coming around but still young.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim, clear and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, roasted meats, black pepper and slight floral notes.  Full bodied.  A nice backbone of acidity.  On the palate, black raspberry fruit with underlying char and pepper.  Clean.  Juicy.  Moderate finish.  This probably will drink better on day 2.  Patience will be rewarded.  Hold off for another few years then drink over the next ten to fifteen.  A nice match with roasted meats or veggies.  

2005 Alban Vineyards Syrah Reva Alban Estate Vineyard, USA, California, Edna Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$120.00USD

This is drinking great and probably at peak.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries with black pepper and some roasted meats and herbs.  Full bodied.  Complex.  Still lots of upfront black raspberry fruit but lots of depth and layering with earthiness, char and black pepper.  Delicious.  Long finish.  This should go another five to ten years but won't get better.  Great on its own, this will work well with roasted meat or veggies.  I last had this in 2009, so it was great to be able to see what happened to all that potential it showed in its youth.  

2005 Lillian Winery Syrah, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$55.00USD

California Syrah bottled in Oregon by Maggie Harrison.  Some of the best Syrah out there.  I last had this about ten years ago.  At age 16, this was at peak and gorgeous.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, black pepper, slight roasted herbs, and a hint of gamey meat.  Full bodied.  Lots of vibrancy and energy.  Great lush texture.  On the palate, still plenty of fruit, light tannins with depth and complexity.  Black raspberries over pepper and gravel.  Long finish.  This drinks great on its own and is perfect with roasted meats, fowl or veggies.  This prob

2016 Mullineux Syrah, South Africa, Swartland, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$37.00USD

I don't drink a lot of wines from South Africa, but that is not for any particular reason.  When I drink ones, such as this, it raises the issue as this is a delightful Syrah that is prices fairly.  Purple in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose is nice with boysenberries, slight mint and roasted herbs.  Full bodied.  Nice depth.  Delicious.  On the palate, boysenberries over a char base.  Clean.  Nice finish.  This drinks well on its own and would be a nice match with Indian cuisine.  Drink over the next 15 years.  

2017 No Girls Double Lucky #8, USA, Washington, Walla Walla, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+

This is apparently a new wine from No Girls that was sent free to those members on the Mailing List.  A Zoom tasting was held for people to try it although a friend brought this bottle to a separate event.  Pop and pour.  It is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Tempranillo.  Almost black in color, more ruby towards the rim.  The nose has that burnt rubber smell so prevalent in many Washington Syrahs.  Also, some slight barnyard, black raspberries and black cherries.  Medium bodied if not a bit thinner.  On the palate, this is a nice quaff.  Somewhat one dimensional with nice black cherry fruit

2014 K Vintners Syrah The Hidden Northridge Vineyard, Washington, Wahluke Slope, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$75.00USD

Inky purple in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose is great with black raspberries, spice and cedar.  On the palate, ripe black raspberry fruit with a slight sour cherry note.  Medium tannins.  Long finish.  This is a big wine but not over done.  It is just starting to calm down a bit as it enters middle age.  This is drinking well now and should continue to drink well for another seven to ten years.  This would work well with Indian food including yellow curries.

2006 Jaffurs Syrah Verna's, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2006
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

This is in a great spot right now.  At peak.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, black pepper, roasted herbs and slight bacon fat.  Full bodied.  Ripe but not overt.  On the palate, nice black raspberry fruit with great acidity.  Deep and complex.  It opens beautifully in the glass.  Also, delicious.  Long finish.  This won't get better but should drink well for another five to seven years.  It works well on its own and would work with Thai or Indian food, or just a burger.  

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