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.

2019 Bedrock Wine Co. Syrah California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-

This is the base Syrah from Bedrock.  A tremendous value that delivers way above its price point.  If there is a problem with it, due to its low price, I don't seem to lay enough of these down to mid and long term cellaring.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, some char, a bit of black olives and spice.  Medium to full bodied.  Lovely texture.  On the palate, black raspberries, black cherries with some underlying earthiness and char.  Nice finish.  This should make good drinking for the next ten to twelve years.  It will go well with burgers, ribs or a corn

2016 Torrin Syrah Shadow Canyon Vineyard, USA, California, York Mountain, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-

This is 100% Syrah.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is nice with black raspberries, black pepper and slight black olives.  Full bodied.  On the palate, black raspberry fruit with some underlying char.  Nice texture.  Light tannins.  Good finish.  Drinking well now and should continue for another eight to ten years.  A nice match for Indian food.  

 

2011 Cayuse Syrah Bionic Frog, USA, Washington, Walla Walla, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$288.00USD

One of the best Syrahs being made anywhere. Purple in color with a slight ruby hue, opaque and bright.  The nose is great with black raspberries, slight burnt rubber, black olives, black pepper and slight bacon fat.  Full bodied.  Velvety texture.  Juicy acidity.  On the palate, lots of black raspberry fruit with some black olive notes and char.  Deep and complex.  Light tannins.  Long finish.  This is just getting near maturity.  It drinks great on its own and would work well with beef stew or chili.  Drink over the next ten to fifteen years.  

2001 Elderton Shiraz Single Vineyard Command, Australi, Barossa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2001
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A

Nice to get a chance to revisit this with some serious age on it.  The last time I tried it in 2014, it was great but young.  Purple in color, ruby swirls, opaque and bright.  The nose has black cherries, black raspberries, leather and black pepper.  Velvety texture.  This seems fully mature.  Complex.  Light tannins.  On the palate, this has black raspberries, some char, a bit of earthy funk and black pepper.  A bit sweet on the finish.  This is everything one wants in a mature Syrah.  Great on its own, this will work better with food.  It would work well with Lamb Curry.  

2001 Marquis Philips Shiraz Integrity, Australia, McLaren Vale, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2001
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$180.00USD

When Marquis Phillips wines burst onto the scene around the beginning of the century, this was the flagship and quite the divisive wine.  It was a poster child for the big, perhaps overblown style of Aussie Shiraz that was so popular at the time.  Most loved them but many disliked the style.  It was interesting to check in on this 21 years later.  If you loved it then, you will still and vice-versa.  Purple in color with ruby hues.  Mostly clear and bright.  It seems the color has faded a tad in the intervening 21 years.  On the nose, this is fresh and big with black raspberries, black oliv

2012 Saxum Bone Rock James Berry Vineyard Syrah, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$170.00USD

Inky purple, opaque and bright.  The nose is warm with black raspberries, roasted meats and black pepper.  Great texture.  On the palate, black raspberries with underlying char.  Still showing very young at age 10.  This is delicious on its own.  It will need bigger foods with some spice.  Drink over the next twenty years.  

2008 Lagier Meredith Syrah, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

Excellent showing.  At age 14, this is just about at peak and showing nice maturity with some youth as well.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  Opaque and mostly bright.  The nose has boysenberries, slight black cherry, black pepper and char.  Full bodied.  The firm tannins of it's youth are mostly resolved at this point but present.

2015 Enate Somontano Syrah-Shiraz, Spain, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$35.00USD

This is a very nice Syrah from northeast Spain (the D.O. of Somontano).  It is a unique take that is well worth exploring especially for the price.  Deep garnet in color with a ruby rim, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has black cherries, some black raspberries, with slight dried floral notes and a hint of char/graphite.  Medium bodied.  15%abv.  On the palate, the black cherries dominate with underlying minerality.  Very tasty.  Medium tannins.  Good acidity.  Nice finish.  If pressed, this has some similarities to a St.

2012 Jaffurs Syrah Upslope, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

This is a blend from the better barrels of the single vineyard wines made by Jaffurs.  It is their top Syrah.  This vintage seems to be a bit "flatter" than others but is still quite good.  Purple in color, opaque and bright. The nose has black raspberries, black pepper, slight roasted meats and herbs.  Full bodied.  On the palate, this took a couple of hours to open and then showed very nicely.  Black raspberries with some underlying char.  Light tannins.  Nice balance.  Nice finish.  This is close to peak but should drink well for the next ten to fifteen years.  

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