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.

2017 Epoch Estate Wines Authenticity Paderewski Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Willow Creek District, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$95.00USD

This is a blend of 92% Syrah, 6% Mourvedre, and 2% Viognier.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is great with black raspberries, blueberries, black pepper, chocolate and roasted meat.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  Nice acidity.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Lots of black raspberries with some blueberries over a bit of roasted meat (more char).  Long finish.  Drinking nicely if not fully mature.  Drink over the next ten to fifteen years.  Great on its own, this needs bigger food.  It would work well with Prime Rib.

2010 Jaffurs Syrah Upslope, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A

This wine is a blend of the best individual vineyard barrels of Syrah (50% Thompson, 33% Larner and 17% Verna's Vineyard).  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is great with black raspberries, black pepper, slight bacon fat and roasted meat.  With air a slight "purple" flower note.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  Lovely texture.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Not a fruit monster but not shy either.  Lots of depth.  Still drinking youthfully.  Lot of  black raspberry fruit with some underlying char and minerality.  Nice finish.  Great on its own, this works well with food.  It

2018 Faethm / Fingers Crossed Syrah Off The Record, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+

This comes from the son of the owner of Sine Qua Non Wines, but Nikolas Krankl is making excellent wines that stand on their own.  This is a blend of 93% Syrah, 2% Grenache, 2% Mourvedre, and 3% Roussane.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is great with black raspberries, roasted meats and herbs, and black pepper.  Lovely, slightly viscous texture.  This is a big, ripe wine but it is not heavy or plodding.  Delicious black raspberry fruit with black pepper and a gamey note on the palate.  Lots of energy and acidity.  Long finish.  This is still very young but for those who

Cuvaison 2019 Syrah Diablo

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$70.00USD

The devil is in the details and with Cuviason’s Diablo Syrah, the details are key to an exceptional wine. Syrah often is mis-treated and most Syrahs on the market are fairly benign. But winemaker Steve Rogstad coaxes much out of these 21-year-old vines grown is less than optimal soils. A smooth viscosity leads to plum, huckleberry, black cherry, red currant, and light pomegranate notes, with back notes of young tobacco leaf and new leather. This is not a timid wine, but a sensuous one that is definitely meant to work with food, as it’s a little heavier on the alcohol.

2017 Horsepower Vineyards Syrah The Tribe Vineyard, USA, Washington, Walla Walla, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$140.00USD

A nice take on a Washington state Syrah.  Purple in color with some ruby swirls.  The nose has black cherries, cloves, black pepper and char.  Medium tannins.  Plenty of depth.  On the palate, black cherries with underlying minerality and char.  Good acidity.  Long finish.  This is still on the younger side but should drink well for another ten to fifteen years.  A nice choice with Beef Stew.  

2015 Tensley Syrah BMT, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$110.00USD

Tensley is an excellent source for excellent wines at fair pricing.  This one is a blend of 75% Syrah and 25% Grenache.  This was a Magnum only release.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is nice with black raspberries, black pepper, slight roasted herbs and a hint of floral notes.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Black raspberry fruit with some pepper and underlying char.  Nice finish.  Drinking well now and should continue for another ten to twelve years.  Very nice on its own, this would also be nice with roasted vegetables.  

2018 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie Brune et Blonde, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$73.00USD

Having just recently tasted the 2017, it was interesting to try the 2018.  For my tastes, this was just a bit better than the 2017, but that is probably because it is more open and accessible.  Purple in color with ruby swirls, mostly clear and bright.  Very nice nose with black raspberries, black pepper, spice, slight fresh cut lumber and slight violets.  Medium to full bodied.  Firm tannins.  On the palate, this is drinking well if young.  Lots of black raspberry fruit.  Depth but tight.  Underlying char and spice.  A fair amount of oak on the finish.  This will get better and holding ano

2008 Carlisle Syrah Pelkan Ranch, USA, California, Sonoma, Knights Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

A delicious cooler climate Syrah.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, black pepper, slight bacon fat and black olives.  Medium to full bodied.  Light tannins.  On the palate, this is going strong.  Lots of black raspberry fruit with some black pepper.  Good balance.  Long finish.  Drink over the next eight to ten years.  Nice on its own, but works well with food.  It went well with a vegetarian sausage casserole.  

2017 Les Halos de Jupiter Châteauneuf-du-Pape Adrastee, France, Rhone Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A

From the late Phillipe Cambie, this is 100% destemmed Grenache.  Purple in color with ruby swirls, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose is nice with black raspberries, black cherries, graphite, spices and roasted meat.  Full bodied.  Light tannins.  On the palate, black cherries with great minerality.  Not as big a wine as one might expect from Cambie.  Deep.  Delicious.  Nice finish.  Drink over the next ten years.  Nice on its own, but better with food.  This would work well with fried chicken.  

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