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.

2014 Saxum Paderewski Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Willow Creek, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$140.00USD

From Magnum.  This is a blend of 30% Mourvedre, 22% Zinfandel, 13% Syrah, 13% Tempranillo, 12% Grenache, and 10% Petite Sirah.  The bottle was opened for air for around 24 hours prior to serving.  Drank over two nights, it was consistent both nights.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black cherries, plums, black raspberries, cherries, gravel, black pepper and floral notes.  Crazy good and complex.  Full bodied and full throttle.  On the palate, all of those purple and red fruits seem to come out with underlying minerality and gravel.  Juicy acidity.  15.9% ABV but no s

2012 Sine Qua Non Syrah Stock, USA, California, Ventura, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
96
Grade: 
Current Price: 
$218.00USD

Another delicious wine from SQN.  It is a blend of 84% Syrah, 7% Grenache, 6% Petite Sirah, 1% Mourvèdre and 2% Viognier.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, roasted meats, slight black olives and spice.  Full bodied.  Serious, fruit forward and intense wine.  On the palate, there are some tannins left.  Lots of black raspberry fruit over an earthy, meaty base.  Juicy acidity.  15.5% ABV but no heat.  Long finish.  In short, everything you could expect from this winery.  It is still young and should evolve over the next decade and drink well for ten mo

2013 Cayuse Syrah Bionic Frog, USA, Washington, Walla Walla, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$260.00USD

This has really opened nicely since I last tried it.  Still young, but delicious.  Perhaps the best wine from Washington that I have had.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is great with black raspberries, boysenberries, black cherries, black olives and tarragon.  No burnt rubber that sometimes shows up in Washington Syrah.  Full bodied.  On the palate, the black and purple fruits dominate.  Black pepper.  Slight black olive with underlying minerals/rocks.  Wonderful lush but fluid texture.  Long finish.  Delicious.  This is still maturing and should be great drinking for t

2012 Alban Vineyards Syrah Reva Alban Estate Vineyard, USA, California, Edna Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$140.00USD

John Alban is one of the pioneers of the California Rhone wine movement and he is still at the top of his game.  Inky purple in color, magenta at the rim.  An amazing nose with black raspberries, graphite and a bit of funky earthiness.  Full bodied.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Lush.  Black raspberry fruit with underlying char.  Long finish.  Just starting to show some maturity.  This ill go another ten to fifteen years with no trouble.  Great on its own, this will work well with spicy foods.  

2012 Jaffurs Syrah Verna's, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

Beautiful showing for this wine.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, slight black pepper, black olives and roasted herbs.  Full bodied.  Silky texture.  On the palate, this has depth and complexity.  Layers of black raspberry fruit, char, and pepper.  Long finish.  This is drinking well but will continue to evolve and mature.  Some upside potential.  Drink now and for ten to fifteen more years.  A great match with spicy or roasted meat and/or veggie dishes.  

2017 Keplinger Fuego y Mar, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Wine review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$75.00USD

this is 100% Syrah.  Purple in color, some ruby, opaque and bright.  The nose is earthy with plums and roasted meats and herbs.  Black olives as well.  On the palate, this is full bodied with medium tannins.  Black raspberry and black cherry fruit.  With air plums come out.  Great acidity.  A touch of salinity on the finish.  This comes across as a cooler climate Syrah more in the Northern Rhone style.  It will need some time flesh out, perhaps another seven to ten years.  After that it will drink well for ten to fifteen more years.  A nice match with brisket or roasted veggies.  

2013 Cayuse Syrah En Cerise Vineyard, USA, Washington, Walla Walla, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$95.00USD

Another top wine from Cayuse.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, black cherries, burnt rubber (in a good way), black olives and iron.  What a great texture.  Juicy and velvety.  On the palate, the black raspberry dominates with some underlying minerality and a hint of funk/musk.  Long finish.  This is still young but chugging along.  It may still improve a bit over the next few years and then be good for another 15 after that.  

2016 Andremily Syrah No. 5, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$122.00USD

This is quickly becoming one of my favorite Syrahs.  This is a blend of 91% Syrah, 6% Mourvèdre and 3% Viognier.  Inky purple in color.  The nose is great with black raspberries, black olives, chocolate and char.  On the palate, this is full bodied.  A lush texture but precise.  Lots of black raspberry fruit with underlying charred earth.  Some chocolate on the finish.  This is delicious.  Firm tannins.  This will continue to mature for another seven to ten years and be great drinking for another ten to fifteen after that.  It drins great on its own now and will work well with roasts of all

2017 Argiano Non Confunditur Toscana IGT, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$18.00USD

This is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Sangiovese which makes it a "Super Tuscan".  It is, however, not expensive and truly a great value.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is nice with black cherries, cherries, baking spices and slight woodiness.  On the palate, this is medium bodied.  A nice backbone of acidity.  It has a soft but inviting texture.  Delicious red berry fruit with underlying dry earthiness.  Medium finish.  This drinks great on its own but is better with food.  A great "pizza wine".  It should be good for another five to seven years.  

Pages