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.

2016 Lagier Meredith Syrah, USA, California, Napa, Mt. Veeder, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$48.00USD

I am a big fan of the Lagier Meredith wines.  For some reason, this is the first review on this site, but that will be corrected.  Steve Lagier is a lifelong winery worker with impressive credits and associations going way back to Robert Mondavi.  Carol Meredith is a retired oenology professor at UC - Davis and one of the preeminent wine grape DNA researchers.  This winery is a two man team on top of a mountain.  Despite PG&E turning off the power, these two didn't even blink.  If there ever is a Zombie apocalypse, this is the place to be.  First, it is way too steep for Zombie's to get

2014 SonkinCellars Persona, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$47.00USD

Biased Review.  This is our wine, so it was made in a style that I love.  Of course, I like it.  Although the critics were quite kind to it, YMMV.  This was consumed over two nights and was better on day 2.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has black raspberries, slightly earthy with black pepper and slight roasted herbs.  Full bodied.  On the palate, this has black cherries, char, slight plums and spice.  Medium tannins.  Nice acidity.  Good finish.  This still needs about five more years to peak and should stay there for another ten to fifteen after that.  Right now, it drinks

2013 Andremily Syrah No. 2, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$230.00USD

Another gorgeous showing for this Syrah.  It is still youthful although like many 2013's, they have turned the corner and are moving to adulthood.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, roasted meats, roasted herbs and black pepper.  This is deep with about 30 minutes of air.  Tons of fruit; black raspberries over a char finish.  Very concentrated.  Moderate tannins.  Long finish.  Delicious.  Very structured at this point, this may yet get a bit better!  Worth holding another few years though this wine is good for ten to fifteen more.  It will go well with roasted meats an

2010 Saxum James Berry Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
99
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$140.00USD

This is really in a great spot right now.  Drinking superbly.  Will it get better?  Perhaps, but absolutely worth opening a bottle right now.   A blend of 52% Grenache, 26% Mourvèdre and 22% Syrah.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is great with black raspberries, white pepper, black cherries, and slight roasted coffee beans.  On the palate, this is soft, gulpable but also deep and complex.  Black raspberries and plums intertwined with char, slight earth and roasted meats.  A long finish.  It is delicious and a show stopper.  No rush, this should easily do another ten to fifteen

2015 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Crozes-Hermitage Domaine de Roure, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$35.00USD

This is, of course, young, but already drinking well.  2015 was such a delicious year in the northern Rhone.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has black raspberries, violets, and slight spice.  On the palate, this is ripe/slightly sweet.  Nothing close to cloying.  It should calm down with some age.  Lots of depth.  Nice full bodied texture.  Plenty of black raspberry fruit.  Nice finish.  At this point, this will need big food but should calm down.  This has ten to fifteen years and probably more.  Definitely a point or two of upside. It really is an excellent value.  

2010 Jaffurs Syrah Verna's, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

Beautiful wine.  Deep ruby in color, purple core.  The nose has black raspberries, iodine and slight char.  Still pretty youthful and tannic on pop and pour.  It opens nicely with some air.  Lots of black raspberry fruit with some spice.  Nice texture.  Good finish.  This was very ripe in its youth though has settled in very nice now.  It may still get a bit better but is drinking very well now.  It will go well with meats and fowl or Indian food too.  It easily has another decade left and probably a bit more.  

2006 Saxum Broken Stones, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2006
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$125.00USD

This is drinking quite well and at peak right now.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, roasted meats, slight white pepper and slight bacon fat.  On the palate, this is light on its feet, not ponderous yet there is alcohol in the plush texture.  Juicy black raspberry fruit.  Layers of fruit and pepper and slight earth.  Long finish.  Easily will go another decade and closer to two.  A nice match with roasted foods.  

2013 Saxum Syrah Booker Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Willow Creek, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$150.00USD

This is a blend of 67% Syrah and 33% Mourvedre.  Consumed in the NY Jets stadium parking lot prior to the Monday night game between the Browns and the Jets.  A lot of fun.  While still very young, this was a perfect wine for the occasion.  Big, bold and delicious.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, roasted herbs, plums and slight violets.  On the palate, this has a wonderfully rich texture.  The wine goes down easily.  It is also delicious.  Lots of black raspberry fruit with underlying char and a bit of pepper.  Great energy and balance.  Long finish.  Goes great with

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