2004 La Sirena Syrah, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2004
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

From Magnum.  This is the home vineyard for Heidi Barrett, former winemaker for Screaming Eagle.  I think sometimes, her wines get short shrift as they are not Screaming Eagle.  At age 15, however, this one was outstanding.  Purple in color.  The nose is nice with black raspberries, black cherries, black pepper, and some roasted meats.  On the palate, this has a wonderful texture.  Energy, it dances across the palate.  Flavors of black raspberries, slight chocolate over gravel and char.  Nice finish.  Tasted again on day 3, it was just as strong (out of magnum).  Nice finish.  This will go

2013 Next of Kyn Syrah No~7 Cumulus Vineyard, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$315.00USD

From the producers of Sine Qua Non, this is the 7th edition of this wine.  The label says 15.8% but there is no hint of heat.  This vintage is a blend of 45% Syrah, 29% Grenache, 15% Petite Sirah, 5% Mourvèdre, 4.5% Touriga Nacional and 1.5% Roussanne.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, red licorice, black pepper, baking spices with a bit of leather/earth.  On the palate, this is rich.  Almost seamless.  It took quite a while to really open up suggesting that this wine still needs about five years depending on your tastes.  Delicious with flavors of black raspberries an

2016 Halcon Vineyards Syrah Alturas, USA, California, Mendocino, Yorkville Highlands, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$33.00USD

Halcon wines are some of the best values in California wine.  They are top quality cooler climate Syrahs being made at lower alcohol levels in a deliberate style.  At the same time, they are not short on fruit or deliciousness.  They really do take some time to develop though and cellaring or air is highly recommended.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has boysenberries, slight black pepper, slight fried bacon, and a bit of charred earth.  On the palate, this has a medium body.  Tightly layered, it unwinds in the glass.  Nice boysenberry fruit with an underlying minerality.  It s

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

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$95.00USD

John Alban is one of the pioneers of Rhone varietal wines in California.  His eponymous winery  is still one of the best.  This is a big wine but for those who like this style, it is excellent.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, some black pepper, slight roasted meats and gravelly dirt.  On the palate, the texture is lush and almost seamless.  This is slightly sweet, most likely from ripe fruit.  Black raspberries and some black cherries.  Plenty of depth with a long finish.  A tasty wine for sure.  It drinks great on its own (and was perfect with a nice Cuban cigar).  It wi

2014 Linne Calodo Problem Child, USA, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$75.00USD

72% Zinfandel with 20% Syrah and 8% Mourvedre.  This is a brawny wine that is delicious.  Purple in color.  The nose has black cherries, black pepper, slight bramble and baking spice.  On the palate, this has a wonderful texture.  Juicy black cherries over a bit of char with slight woody notes.  There is a nice depth to this wine.  It should continue to develop complexity over the next few years.  It should last another decade.  Whether it improves or not depends on how mature you like your Zins.  This is great on its own and should work great with grilled meats or spicy hot foods.  

2013 Epoch Estate Wines Ingenuity, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$68.00USD

This is a blend of 54% Syrah, 21% Mourvèdre, 16% Grenache and 9% Petite Sirah.  It is a big wine that really needed some time to settle down.  Even 6 years from vintage isn't really enough.  That said, with a couple hours of air, this was drinking beautifully.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has black raspberries, plums, black cherries, and spice.  Perhaps a bit of black pepper.  On the palate, this is thick and big.  A bit chunky on opening but it smoothed out with air.  Lots of black raspberry fruit with some black cherries.  An underlying charred earthiness.  Good finish.  T

2011 Saxum Terry Hoage Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$125.00USD

The 2011 Saxums are drinking beautifully right now.  It was a difficult vintage but Justin Smith and Saxum excelled.  The wines are a bit more ready than most vintages, but that's fine.  Pop and pour. 51% Grenache and 49% Syrah.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, dark chocolate, black pepper and roasted herbs.  With air more chocolate comes out along with a bit or roasted meats.  On the palate, this has a lovely juicy yet muscular texture.  Lots of black raspberry fruit, some char and a bit of earthiness and black pepper.  Nice finish.  This is a big wine and will need

2017 Carlisle Syrah Sonoma County, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

This is the base Syrah from Carlisle and is always a great value.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, black cherries, black pepper and coffee.  Very nice.  On the palate, this is medium to full bodied.  cooler climate in profile.  Black cherries, black raspberries, slight earthiness.  Lighter tannins.  Good acidity.  Long finish.  This is drinking well right now and may get a bit better over the next few years.  It should easily do another ten years.  This will go great with Indian food or meat/veggie stews and chili.  Sometimes, these wines don't get enough respect as the ge

2013 Bedrock Wine Co. Syrah Exposition One Weill Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$225.00USD

This is part of a three part release that was an homage to the Guigal La La wines of the Northern Rhone.  This was my first time trying any of them and they still need a bit more time.  Purple in color.  The nose has a lot of oak still to work thru.  Of course, there is plenty of black raspberry fruit so it should be able to.  There is some roasted meat and black pepper as well.  On the palate, the oak is also pronounced.  Firm tannins.  Gobs of black raspberry fruit.  Deep but impenetrable.  All of that said, it is delicious now, slightly sweet and highly enjoyable on its own.  It is more

2009 Bedrock Wine Co. Syrah Old Lakeville Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2009
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

Nice to revisit this at age 10.  Mature and drinking well.  Purple in color with some ruby swirls.  The nose has black raspberries, black olives, charcoal and black pepper.  On the palate, this is clean with black raspberry fruit.  Some depth and complexity.  Good acidity.  Nice finish.  This won't get better but should hold for a decade more.  It goes great with food or on its own.  

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