2011 Halcon Vineyards Syrah Alturas, USA, California, Mendocino, Wine Review

Halcon is making great wines just north of Napa in the Yorkville Highlands.  The wines are stunning values and everyone should sign up for their mailing list and e-mails.  This is a cooler climate Syrah and 2011 was even a bit cooler than typical.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, slight bacon fat, grilled herbs and a floral note.  There is concentrated fruit but this is more about the minerality.  Complex, this is not yet at peak but getting close.  On the palate, this is medium bodied with some tannins.  Black raspberry fruit.  Sinewy texture.  Great acidity.  Nice finish

2015 Jaffurs Syrah, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Wine Review

Jaffurs makes a lot of wine, this is their basic Syrah and it is one of my favorite value wines from California.  77% Syrah, 9% Grenache, 9% Petite Sirah and the Mourvèdre.  This is warm climate Syrah that will drink early and cellar well.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, grilled meats, slight black pepper and a bit of roasted herbs.  On the palate, this has a lush texture.  It is delicious and always a crowd pleaser.  Deep with complexity that opens in the glass but will emerge with more cellaring.  Great on its own or with hearty of fatty foods.  Definite upside potentia

2013 Johann Michel Cornas, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Purple in color, ruby at the rim. The nose has black raspberries and clay.  Slight bacon fat.  On the palate, this has sour black raspberries.  That is interesting but really begs for food to counter the tartness.  Complex if still tight, it unwinds in the glass.  Medium tannins.  This is young and will benefit from a few more years of ageing.  

2012 Torrin Akasha, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Torrin is one of the most underrated wines out of California.  Maybe underrated is not the right word.  I just don't understand why it doesn't get the buzz it deserves.  To my mine it is one of the five top wineries producing Rhone varietals in California.  Yes, the wines are big, but so far, they seem to be ageing just fine.  This one is fantastic.  These are big, warm climate Syrahs that are similar in style to SQN or Saxum.  Purple in color.  The nose is great with black raspberries, grilled meats, and hot tar.  On the palate, this is lush with lots of fruit and medium tannins.  Black ra

2014 Denner Syrah, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, blueberries, spice, slight grilled meats and black pepper.  On the palate, this is a bit more restrained than I expected but still outstanding.  Black raspberries, blueberries, and slight earthiness.  With air some charred earth as well.  Nice texture.  Some complexity.  Enough acidity to work with hearty foods.  Good finish.  There is plenty of fruit and slight tannins; this seems like it might improve or it might just age out.  Either way it easily has a decade or more left.  

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

Opened and allowed to breathe for 12 hours before serving.  It could have used double that.  That said, this is a spectacular Syrah from one of the best, if young track record, producers.  Inky purple in color.  The nose is great with black raspberries, roasted meats and slight roasted herbs, violets and yet still black olives.  On the palate, a wonderful texture.  Great purity of fruit; black raspberries with some black pepper, char and slight meatiness.  Deep, it unwinds in the glass.  Pin point balance.  Worked great with food.  Spectacular wine.  

2005 Kosta Browne Syrah Amber Ridge Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

This was fun as it is by far the oldest KB wine I have had.  It is still quite a big wine especially for a Sonoma Syrah.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, black olives, slight roasted herbs and black pepper.  very nice.  On the palate, black raspberries, black pepper, some char, some earth.  Good acidity.  Light tannins.  Slight heat.  It is drinking just fine at this point and probably at peak.  Some depth, but a lot but plenty of delicious fruit left.  Worked fine with food.  Seems to easily have five to ten more years.  

2007 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

This wine is in the beginnings of its prime drinking window IMO.  It should be good for at least another decade.  Purple in color.  The nose is great with black cherries, black raspberries, cherries, raw meat, and floral notes.  On the palate, this has a great almost soft texture.  Slight tannins.  Layers of black raspberries, black cherries, licorice and earth.  This is a very clean wine.  Nice acidity especially for the vintage.  Long finish.  This kept improving all night.  It worked well my pasta dish after being open for a few hours.  

2001 Araujo Estate Syrah Eisele Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Ruby/purple in color.  The nose is very nice with black raspberries, black pepper some grilled meats and just a bit of bacon.  On the palate, this is fully mature but not past.  Black raspberry fruit layered with charred earth.  Nice complexity.  Good acidity.  Still fresh.  Nice finish.  This wine is drinking great and much younger than I might have expected it to.  Bottles vary though and I wouldn't wait too long on this one.  

2014 Wilde Farm Wines Syrah Cardiac Hill, USA, California, Sonoma, Bennett Valley, Wine Review

Another winner from this winery making lower alcohol, cooler climate wines from California.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, char, black olives and roasted herbs.  On the palate, this is medium to full bodied.  Black raspberries with an underlying char.  Also some earthiness.  Good acidity.  Nice finish.  Very food friendly with some potential upside over the next few years.