2012 Ledge Syrah James Berry Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Purple in color.  The nose is nice with black raspberries, some char and a bit of leather.  On the palate, this is nice with black raspberry fruit.  Some complexity.  It doesn't seem like this will improve.  It is a very good wine but, this is from perhaps the best Syrah vineyard in California.  The expectations were high and this did not meet up to those expectations.  That may be unfair, but there it is.  This sold for around $50 on release.  

2014 Sine Qua Non Syrah Piranha Waterdance, USA, California, Wine Review

81% Syrah, 8% Petite Sirah, 6% Mourvèdre, 4% Touriga Nacional and 1% Graciano.  Inky purple in color.  This is very different for an SQN wine.  It does have 15.8% Alc but there is no sign of that.  The nose has black raspberries, blueberries, some roasted meats and herbs and black pepper.  On the palate, this is almost elegant.  It has a refined quality but also the intensity and concentration one expects.  Black raspberry and blueberry fruit on the palate with underlying coffee grounds and char.  Great texture.  Long finish.  This is still quite young and has some upside even as good as it

2014 K Vintners Syrah Powerline Estate, USA, Washington, Walla Walla, Wine Review

Inky purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, black pepper and violets.  On the palate, this is almost seamless.  Black raspberry fruit, some black pepper.  Great juicy but lush texture.  Complex.  Long finish.  Needs big or spicy foods but there is enough acidity to handle them.  This is delicious and so easy to drink now, but should continue to mature for another 5 to 7 years and be good for at least a decade after that.  

2014 K Vintners Syrah Klein, USA, Washington, Walla Walla, Wine Review

Deep ruby in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is dusty with black raspberries.  Good acidity.  On the palate there is nice boysenberry fruit.  Lots of fruit with an underlying char.  Good finish.  This is young and tight.  It comes across as more of a cooler climate Syrah.  It probably needs another five years to really strut its stuff and be good for a decade after that.  Lots of potential for upside here though it is excellent right now.  

2014 Keplinger Syrah Hangman's Hudson, USA, California, Carneros, Wine Review

95% Syrah, 5% Viognier.  Purple in color.  The nose is nice with black raspberries, leather, roasted meats, and black pepper.  Deep.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Black raspberries, char, black pepper along with some earthiness.  More lower tones (if that makes sense).  Good balance.  Kept opening up.  This has a long life left.  Needs bigger foods.  

2014 Jaffurs Syrah, USA, California, Santa Barbara County, Wine Review

This is the basic Jaffurs Syrah.  It is one of the great values in warmer climate Syrah from California.  It typically retails for around $30.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is great with black raspberries, roasted meats, slight violets and black pepper.  On the palate, there is a nice energy.  Bright black raspberry fruit.  Underlying roasted meats and earthiness.  Great texture.  This drinks great on release and continues to improve for a decade.  Goes well with medium or heartier foods and especially Indian foods.  If you are not on this wineries mailing list, you should be

2014 Denner The Ditch Digger, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

60% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre, 5% Cinsault, 5% Counoise.  Inky purple in color.  The nose is great with black raspberries, leather, plums, slight earthiness, char and some black cherries.  On the palate, this has a wonderful rich texture.  Medium tannins.  It is young but bursting with fruit without being over the top.  Black cherries, black raspberries, underlying earthiness and char.  Long finish.  This is a big wine and needs either big or spicy food.  It is still probably 7 years from maturity and will last another 10 after that (at least).  That said, it is delicious and enjoy

2013 SonkinCellars Unmasked, USA, Mendocino, Wine Review

WARNING-Biased Review.  This is perhaps the most backward wine we have made.  Purple in color, slight ruby band at the rim.  The nose has boysenberries, charred wood, spice, and slight violet notes.  On the palate, this is tight.  Medium tannins.  Deep but hard to see the bottom.  Boysenberry fruit.  Good acidity.  Long finish.  This really needs more air or cellar time.  It works with spicy or hearty foods at the moment.  Another five years and it should be opening up nicely.  Once it opens, the fruit is pinpoint.  There is a lot of potential for upside here with proper cellaring.  

2012 SonkinCellars Unmasked, USA, California, Yorkville Highlands, Wine Review

WARNING-Biased Review.  This is tighter than most 2012's but starting to open up a bit.  Still, a decant for a couple of hours is not a bad idea.  Purple in color with ruby swirls.  The nose has boysenberries, black olives, white pepper and charred wood.  On the palate, this is lean but puts on weight in the glass.  Deep boysenberry fruit with underlying char.  Food friendly with heartier and spicy food.  Good finish.  This is nearing peak but easily has a decade plus to go.  

2015 SonkinCellars Persona, USA, California, Wine Review

WARNING-Biased Review.  This is out current vintage for sale.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, slight gamey meat, white pepper and black olives.  With air some red berry fruit emerges.  On the palate, black raspberries with a nice charred underlayer.  This is tight with firm tannins.  Good acidity, it should work well with food.  This is not as big as prior vintages of Persona.  It drinks nicely now, but its best days are ahead.  

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