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.

2007 Dehlinger Syrah, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2007
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

Finally.  I have been drinking this wine since release and it is finally approaching ready to drink.  There was always potential but it has now been realized.  Hopefully, everyone still has some left.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, black pepper and slight roasted meat and roasted herbs.  On the palate, this is not big but it is concentrated.  Lots of black raspberry fruit but not over ripe.  A nice under layer or char and slight salinity.  Very nice balance and texture.  Long finish.  This begs for roasted meats or veggies though Indian food would work well too.  It shou

2004 Pax Syrah Obsidian Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2004
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

From Magnum.  Wonderful aged Syrah but it is starting to show it's age.  Purple in color.  The nose has black olives, boysenberries, slight black pepper and a hint of bacon fat.  On the palate, this has a nice backbone of acidity.  Layers of black raspberry fruit with some earthiness, some black olives and a bit of pepper.  Long finish.  Worked well with a wide variety of foods.  This probably should be drunk up in the next five years or so.  

2012 Saxum Broken Stones, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$125.00USD

My friend Robert was having a birthday.  I brought a Magnum of this as it is always a crowd pleaser.  And, it did not disappoint.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, white pepper, roasted meats, and slight floral note.  With air some coffee grounds come out.  On the palate, this was pop and pout and took only about twenty minutes to open though it continued to improve all night.  Lots of black raspberry fruit intertwined with smoke and roasted meats.  Medium tannins.  Great precision and balance.  Long finish.  This needs big or spicy foods but will work with those and o

2017 Cruse Wine Company Monkey Jacket, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$25.00USD

This is a hodgepodge of grapes made in a "natural wine" style.  Twenty-five percent Alicante Bouschet, Grenache, Cinsault, Mondeuse, and Zinfandel from one source; another 25% Valdiguié; and the rest Syrah, Tannat, St. Laurent, and Carignan made from vineyards across California.  This was being closed out at a local wine store for $20.  Ruby in color, clear and bright.  The nose has a sweaty sock quality to it.  Once you get past that, there are some cherries and pomegranate notes.

2015 Saxum James Berry Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
99
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$135.00USD

My friend Charlie came by.  Now Charlie likes his wines big and young and we both love Saxum.  That sure seemed like a great opportunity to pull and young'un from the cellar and see what it was showing.  The surprising thing was how good and accessible this was already.  It's not at peak and will improve with cellaring, but if you have more than one, it's not a tragedy to open one now.  33% Grenache, 32% Mourvedre, 24% Syrah and 11% Counoise.   Purple in color, slight ruby line at the rim.  The nose is great with black raspberries, roasted meats, white pepper and slight floral notes.  This

2015 Bedrock Wine Co. Syrah North Coast, USA, California, Wine Reviews

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$25.00USD

Bedrock makes some great wines, but the low end of their pricing/releases gives consumers some of the best values in red wine.  This is their basic Syrah which is available to mailing list customers for around $21 delivered.  It is a classic, cooler climate but California Syrah.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, some black pepper, slight roasted meats and a bit of leather.  On the palate, this is tannic and tight.  With air, there is great black raspberry fruit with some damp earthiness underneath and a little peppery quality.  Wonderful texture.  Good finish.  Will work be

2013 SonkinCellars Unmasked, USA, California, Mendocino, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$50.00USD

Biased review.  This wine is now starting to be approachable.  Pop and pour, it is still young but in my biased opinion, showing well.  Of course, part of this is because having made the wine, it was made in a style I love.  Most of the fruit is from the Halcon Vineyard.  This is a cooler climate Syrah.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has boysenberries, slight bacon fact, leather and roasted meats.  A nice of gravel as well.  On the palate, I love the texture.  Not a monster, but juicy fruit without being over blown.  Medium tannins.  Great acidity.  This will work with roasted dishes, cas

2015 Maison Denuzière Crozes-Hermitage, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$25.00USD

This was brought to a dinner party by a friend who reps the wine.  It was the first time trying this winery, but of course 2015 is such a great vintage in the Northern Rhone that my expectations were high.  Indeed, this wine delivers.  It is an old school styled wine that really has a lot going on.  It retails for around $25 which is a nice value.  Purple in color, a bit flat in appearance.  The nose is great but there is some funk/barnyard (if that bothers you).  Also some plums, a bit of spice and black pepper.  On the palate, this has light tannins.  Good acidity.  Black raspberries and

2008 K Vintners Roma En Chamberlin Vineyard, USA, Washington, Walla Walla, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$65.00USD

This is a blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon and 38% Syrah from Cayuse Vineyard in Washington.  At eleven years from vintage it is rolling along just fine.  Pop and pour and it was drinking quite well.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is nice with black raspberries, black cherries, slight burnt rubber/iron and a bit of a slight green herbal note (tarragon?).  On the palate, this has a lovely texture.  Juicy, black raspberries, black cherries with slight char underneath.  Good finish.  Worked well with roasted mushrooms.  Should have another decade left if well stored but I doubt it

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