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.

2011 Saxum Terry Hoage Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$125.00USD

The 2011 Saxums are drinking beautifully right now.  It was a difficult vintage but Justin Smith and Saxum excelled.  The wines are a bit more ready than most vintages, but that's fine.  Pop and pour. 51% Grenache and 49% Syrah.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, dark chocolate, black pepper and roasted herbs.  With air more chocolate comes out along with a bit or roasted meats.  On the palate, this has a lovely juicy yet muscular texture.  Lots of black raspberry fruit, some char and a bit of earthiness and black pepper.  Nice finish.  This is a big wine and will need

2017 Carlisle Syrah Sonoma County, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

This is the base Syrah from Carlisle and is always a great value.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, black cherries, black pepper and coffee.  Very nice.  On the palate, this is medium to full bodied.  cooler climate in profile.  Black cherries, black raspberries, slight earthiness.  Lighter tannins.  Good acidity.  Long finish.  This is drinking well right now and may get a bit better over the next few years.  It should easily do another ten years.  This will go great with Indian food or meat/veggie stews and chili.  Sometimes, these wines don't get enough respect as the ge

2013 Bedrock Wine Co. Syrah Exposition One Weill Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$225.00USD

This is part of a three part release that was an homage to the Guigal La La wines of the Northern Rhone.  This was my first time trying any of them and they still need a bit more time.  Purple in color.  The nose has a lot of oak still to work thru.  Of course, there is plenty of black raspberry fruit so it should be able to.  There is some roasted meat and black pepper as well.  On the palate, the oak is also pronounced.  Firm tannins.  Gobs of black raspberry fruit.  Deep but impenetrable.  All of that said, it is delicious now, slightly sweet and highly enjoyable on its own.  It is more

2009 Bedrock Wine Co. Syrah Old Lakeville Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2009
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

Nice to revisit this at age 10.  Mature and drinking well.  Purple in color with some ruby swirls.  The nose has black raspberries, black olives, charcoal and black pepper.  On the palate, this is clean with black raspberry fruit.  Some depth and complexity.  Good acidity.  Nice finish.  This won't get better but should hold for a decade more.  It goes great with food or on its own.  

2015 Keplinger Lithic, USA, California, Amador County, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$70.00USD

This is a blend of 40% Mourvèdre, 34% Grenache, and 26% Syrah.  It is a big wine that is ripe and delicious.  The nose has black raspberries, blue berries, roasted meat and herbs, black pepper and some cherries.  On the palate, this is big.  Firm tannins.  Juicy black raspberry and blueberry fruit with an underlying minerality.  It softens a bit in the glass.  It is great on its own but a difficult food match at present.  It will most certainly evolve and gain integration over the next five to ten years at which time it will be great with cassoulets and roasted foods.  No regrets about open

2016 Hourglass HG III, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

This is a red blend that is 48% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, with the rest Petite Sirah, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah.  It is a delicious wine that is drinking well but will likely improve with some cellar time.  Deep ruby in color with some purple at the core.  The nose shows black raspberries, cherries, dark chocolate, spice and cigar box.  On the palate, this is medium to full bodied.  Moderate tannins.  Lots of cherries, black cherries and also some plums over char and tobacco.  Nice finish.  This will work well with bigger foods and certainly a burger on the grill would be great.  Drin

2018 14 Hands Rosé, USA, Washington, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
87
Grade: 
B
Current Price: 
$5.00USD

This is from a can although it appears they also sell this in bottles.  It is a blend of Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Grenache.  It has a reasonably deep pink/ruby color.  The nose has cherries and raspberries.  On the palate, this is easy drinking and refreshing.  Flavors of cherries and strawberries.  No tannins.  Ready to drink now.  Worked well with salty fried food but should go with a wide variety of foods.  The trend of wine cans is catching on.  For wines that are made for now, this is a convenient, non-breakable alternative.  I hope more wineries go this route.  

2014 Andremily Syrah No. 3, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
99
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$165.00USD

Nice to revisit this wine.  Tasted (note posted elsewhere on this site), it was quite tight.  While still quite young, this wine has really made a lot of progress.  Still not at its peak, but providing a lot of pleasure right now.  It is a blend of 89% Syrah, 8% Mourvèdre and 3% Viognier.  inky purple in color.  The nose is great with black raspberries, smoked meat, white pepper and floral notes.  On the palate, this has firm tannins.  Black raspberry fruit over scorched earth and also some pepper.  Great texture.  Long finish.  This will go well with big meat dishes but also roasted veggie

2014 Jonata Winery La Sangre de Jonata, California, Santa Barbara, Ballard Canyon, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$110.00USD

Wow.  This is truly a special wine.  Just gorgeous and will still get better.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, black pepper, slight lavender, and roasted meats.  On the palate, this has medium tannins.  A wonderful silky/lush texture.  Great energy.  Delicious black raspberry fruit layered with charred earth and black pepper.  Long finish.  This is a very unique take on high end Syrah.  It should continue to improve for five years and be god for twenty more after that.  It will go with roasted foods as well as Indian and much more.  

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