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.

2015 Marrenon Capella Ventoux, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$15.00USD

For those looking for value in their red wines, the southern Rhone is still a great place once you get outside Chateauneuf and perhaps Gigondas.  This is one of those wines that is a great wine to stock up on in great vintages.  Purple/ruby in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose is very nice with black cherries, plums, slight spice and slight floral notes.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, this has some depth to it.  Black cherry fruit with underlying spice.  Good acidity.  This should drink well for the next five to seven years.  A nice match with a veggies burger (or even a meat burg

2013 Saxum Heart Stone Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Adelaida District, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$120.00USD

Normally, I like to let these wines rest for ten years or so prior to opening, but sometimes, it can't be helped.  For me, the Hearstone opens a bit earlier than the others (along with the Paderewski).  This is a blend of 54% Syrah, 35% Grenache, and 11% Mourvedre.  Pop and pour, this took a while to open and the last glass was the best.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, black pepper, roasted meats, slight black olives and a bit of black cherries.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  On the palate, this has a great juicy, muscular texture.  Powerful  Load

2005 Rotllan Torra Amadis, Spain, Priorat, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-

Rottlan Torra is one of the oldest producers in Priorat dating from the early 1980's before the area's rebirth.  A blend of 25% Garnacha, 25% Carignan, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Syrah, and 10% Merlot, this wine is drinking wonderfully right now.  2005 was a great vintage.  Purple in color, shimmering bright with no signs of age.  The nose has black cherries, salinity, black licorice and slate/minerals.  On the palate, lots of fruit; black cherries and black raspberries with an underlying minerality.  A nice complexity.  Long finish.  This should continue to drink well for another seven to

2016 Clos del Portal Priorat Negre de Negres, Spain, Priorat, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$28.00USD

This is a blend of Grenache, Carignan and Syrah.  Ruby in color, clear and bright.  Tasted among a variety of Priorat wines, this was significantly lighter in color with more ruby than purple tones.  The nose is nice with raspberries, cherries and spice. Medium bodied.  Lighter on the palate as well with notes of black cherries and cherries.  Good acidity.  Nice finish.  This is ready to drink now and should drink well for three to five more years.  It will work well with stews or chili.  

2017 Celler Vall Llach Priorat Embruix, Spain, Priorat, Wine review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$22.00USD

Another top producer in Priorat, this is their entry level red.  It is a blend of  27% Garnacha, 26% Merlot, 21% Syrah, 18% Cariñena, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon.  Inky purple in color, shimmering bright and opaque.  The nose has dust, black cherries, plums and coffee.  On the palate, spicy black cherry fruit.  Medium tannins.  The alcohol is noticeable but not obtrusive.  Long finish.  This is delicious and in need of some cellar time.  Perhaps another three to five years.  This drinks great on its own but will need big food right now.  Perhaps after a few years it calms down.  This is the kind

2012 Campesino Syrah Sangiacomo Old Lakeville Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

This is really drinking well right now.  Purple in color with a thin ruby line at the rim.  The nose is great with black raspberries, slight bacon fat, char and black pepper.  Medium to full bodied.  On the palate, this has a lovely texture.  Black raspberry fruit intertwined with roasted meats and black pepper.  Very smooth.  Delicious.  Long finish.  This is closing in on peak but should have ten to fifteen more years at or near the top.  This worked great with Indian food.  

2016 Tablas Creek Le Complice, USA, California, Paso Robles, Adelaida District, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A-

This is a blend of 59% Syrah, 20% Grenache, 19% Terret Noir, and 2% Roussanne.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim, opaque and bright.  The nose is very nice with black raspberries, black cherries, black pepper, and black olives.  Medium to full bodied.  On the palate, this drinks with a cooler climate Syrah profile, that is with black raspberry fruit, black pepper and slight black cherries over a mineral base.  Light tannins.  Very fresh.  Nice finish.  This drinks youthfully but shows some signs of maturity.  It will continue to mature for the next five to seven years and be good for anothe

2013 K Vintners Syrah The Deal Sundance Vineyard, USA, Washington, Wahluke Slope, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$35.00USD

Classis Washington Syrah.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, black olives, slight burnt rubber and char.  Full bodied.  On the palate, this is a big wine, but not over ripe.  Lots of black raspberry fruit with char underneath.  Good acidity.  Nice finish.  This drinks well on its own, but works a bit better with food.  It should continue to mature for the next three to five years and be good for ten after that.  It would be a nice match with Indian food.  

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