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.

2002 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie La Mouline, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2002
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$300.00USD

The trio of Guigal La La Cote Rotie's are legendary as some of the greatest wines in the world.  Any time one gets to try a bottle is a rare occasion.  Now, 2002 was not a great or even good vintage, but this bottle had been purchased for an affordable price on release and well stored waiting for the right time to open.  At age 20, it was drinking quite well if not at the level of some better vintages.  This is 95% Syrah and 5% Viognier which was less than usual due to the botrytis that came from the wet conditions.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is pretty with black ra

2017 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie Brune et Blonde de Guigal, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$70.00USD

This is the basic Cote Rotie from purchased fruit.  It is 96% Syrah with 4% Viognier that saw 36 months in barrel, half of that new oak.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is very nice with black raspberries, black pepper, black olives and slight smoke.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  On the palate, black raspberries with underlying char.  Plenty of depth.  Long finish.  This is delicious on its own and should be very food friendly.  It would be perfect with a steak.  Drink over the next ten to twelve years.  

2017 E. Guigal St. Joseph Vignes de L'Hospice, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$72.00USD

This is 100% Syrah from older vines in the northern Rhone.  Guigal bought the vineyards from Jean-Louis Grippat upon his retirement: The granite based soil held in place by a series of terraces. The wine is fermented in stainless-steel tanks, followed by 30 months in new oak barrels.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is great with black raspberries, black cherries, black olives and spice.  Full bodied.   Medium tannins.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Ripe black raspberries, some black cherries with underlying char and spice.

2019 E. Guigal St. Joseph, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$42.00USD

This is the basic Saint Joseph from Guigal.  It is 100% Syrah.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is very nice with black raspberries, char, black olives, spice and black pepper.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  On the palate, black raspberries, spice, and slight coffee grounds.  Delicious.  Nice finish.  A definite step up from the Crozes-Hermitage.  It drinks well on its own and will work very well with food.  Of course a burger, but this will work well with Indian food, too.  Drink over the next eight to ten years.  

2018 E. Guigal Crozes-Hermitage, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$26.00USD

This is 100% Syrah from the northern Rhone.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is great with black raspberries, smoke, slight gamey meat and black olives.  Medium to full bodied.  Light tannins.  Good balance.  Lovely jammy texture.  On the palate, loads of ripe black raspberries with some char and black pepper.  Long finish.  This is great on its own and will work well with foods.  Grilled meats would be a nice choice.  Drink over the next eight to ten years.  

2019 Rene Rostaing Côte-Rôtie Cuvée Classique Ampodium, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$60.00USD

Young, but a wonderful Cote Rotie.  Purple in color, slim ruby rim, opaque and bright.  The nose has black cherries and black raspberries, black olive and black pepper with a bit of smoke, Full bodied.  On the palate, black raspberries, black raspberries and black pepper.  Medium tannins.  Deep but primary.  This needs a five to ten more years of good cellaring. Drink for twenty after that.  If drinking soon, it should be with food.  Cassoulet is the choice.  

2018 Weingut Dorli Muhr Carnuntum, Austria, Wine Review

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

This is an interesting blend of 65% Blaufränkisch and 35% Syrah.  Served at Das Loft in Vienna, Austria.  Deep garnet in color, mostly opaque but a bit flat.  The nose has a slight barnyard note along with black cherries and slight black pepper.  Medium bodied.  Good acidity.  On the palate, black cherries and plums.  Light tannins.  Nice finish.  A pleasant wine that drinks well on its own and will work well with food.  It should pair nicely with Indian cuisine.  Drink over the next five to seven years.  

2020 Bedrock Wine Co. Syrah, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2020
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$25.00USD

Another great value, this is Bedrock's basic Syrah.  Every year it is so good and ready to drink.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, black pepper and roasted herbs.  Full bodied.  Good balance.  On the palate, this has juicy black raspberries with some spice and black pepper.  Light tannins.  Nice mouthfeel.  Good finish.  Drinking well now and will continue over the next ten years.  Great on its own, this is perfect with Indian cuisine.  

2013 Torrin Akasha, USA, California, Paso Robles, Willow Creek, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A

This is 95% Syrah and 5% Grenache and drinking beautifully.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, black pepper, and roasted meats and herbs.  Full bodied.  Good acidity.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Deep but the layers unwind in the glass.  Probably not quite at peak but getting close.  Medium tannins.  Long finish.  This should continue to drink well for another twelve to fifteen years.  Great on its own, this would work great with roasted veggies off the grill.  

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