2008 Dehlinger Syrah, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

This wine has really taken a long time to come around, but is now drinking great.  This is there basic Syrah.  Purple in color, deep ruby at the rim.  The nose has black raspberries, black pepper, grilled meats and slight roasted herb.  On the palate, this is deep and complex.  Lovely medium bodied texture.  Black raspberry fruit layered with dry, charred earth.  Good finish.  This should continue to drink well for another ten to fifteen years.  A great match with Indian food, it should also work well with casseroles or roasts.  

2012 Linne Calodo Problem Child, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$78.00USD

This is a Zinfandel blend of 74% Zinfandel, 14% Syrah and 12% Mourvedre.  This is a big wine but it is drinking quite nicely right now.  Purple in color, slight ruby at the rim.  The nose has black cherries, raspberries, a bit of bramble, plums and black pepper.  On the palate, this has a nice texture.  A nice varietal complexity.  It goes down (too) easy.  Although there is no alcohol on the palate, it is 15.3%.  Lots of black cherry and raspberry fruit with some char and spice.  Good finish.  This drinks great on it own and would work well with a burger.  It probably should be consumed in

2013 Torrin Tsundere, USA, California, Paso Robles, Willow Creek District, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$70.00USD

Torrin makes some of the best Rhone styled wines anywhere.  This is 30% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 20% Tannat, so not completely a Rhone styled wine.  Close enough.  There wines are big and generally need at least five years to start to be approachable for my tastes.  This one is just getting there.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, plums, slight black cherries, blueberries, slight dust and spice.  It's great.  On the palate, this is big and wide.  Great texture.  Loads of black raspberry fruit with some blueberries and a bit of black cherries.  It's d

2002 Terry Hoage Vineyards Syrah The Hedge, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2002
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

This is a classic example of how well these high octane Syrah's from Paso Robles can age and mature given the chance.  The bottle lists this at 16.5% ABV.  On release, many naysayers said it would fall apart after five years.  They complained about the heat and taste, many without even tasting it first.  Now, I will admit that I liked this wine young.  And, at age 17, I liked it even better.  Of course, if you didn't like it young, you probably won't like it now I suppose.  But, it clearly has not fallen apart.  It is delicious, complex and has years left.  This wine was made by Justin Smit

1999 Shafer Relentless, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1999
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$100.00USD

This is the first year that this wine was made.  It is a blend of Syrah and Petite Sirah.  At age 20, this seems to be at peak.  It is drinking great with no signs of being over the hill.  Deep ruby in color, purple at the rim (a nice sign of youth).  The nose is all about boysenberries along with hints of black pepper and some charred wood.  On the palate, this is slightly soft with no tannins left.  It is almost seamless.  Deep and complex.  Boysenberry fruit over a bed of char and dry earth.  Good acidity.  Long finish.  Delicious.  This will go with a wide range of medium and heavier fo

2009 Shafer Relentless, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2009
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$90.00USD

This is a blend of 87% Syrah and 13% Petite Sirah.  At age ten this is just starting to come into its own.  We drank this side by side with a 1999 which was illustrative.  Deep ruby in color with some purple swirls.  The nose is big with black raspberries, char and minerals.  A wonderful, full bodied texture.  Black raspberry fruit over a char/mineral/earthy base.  Tight layering with moderate tannins.  Long finish.  Delicious.  This does have some upside as it mature and comes together.  If opening now, give it a few hours in a decanter.  This drinks great on its own and will work well wit

2016 Sosie Syrah Vivio Vineyard, USA. California, Sonoma, Bennett Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-

The first bottle of this I tried had likely been exposed to heat during shipping.  It is great that I was able to try a proper bottle.  Much better.  Purple in color with ruby swirls.  Interesting nose.  It is smoky with a scent that reminded me of a really good corned beef sandwich at a Jewish deli.  That is meaty, slightly salty, a bit of yeast, and slight roasted meats.  Very proper and welcoming.  This is a cool climate Syrah and it drinks very well.  There is some bacon fat too, but that wouldn't go at a Jewish Deli.  ;-)  There also is some boysenberry fruit lurking in the background.

2016 Halcon Vineyards Esquisto, USA, California, Mendocino, Yorkville Highlands, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

This is a GSM blend of 70/10/20.  Still young, it needs some time, especially for the Syrah and Mourvedre to come out.  Ruby in color, slightly cloudy.  The nose has black cherries and baking spices.  On the palate, this is more raspberries but the baking spice are present.  Smooth and easy drinking but also some depth.  Medium bodied.  Good acidity.  Needs a few years and should have a decade more.  Will work on its own and worked great with a stuffed eggplant dish but roasted foods in general.  

2016 Lagier Meredith Syrah, USA, California, Napa, Mt. Veeder, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$48.00USD

I am a big fan of the Lagier Meredith wines.  For some reason, this is the first review on this site, but that will be corrected.  Steve Lagier is a lifelong winery worker with impressive credits and associations going way back to Robert Mondavi.  Carole Meredith is a retired oenology professor at UC - Davis and one of the preeminent wine grape DNA researchers.  This winery is a two man team on top of a mountain.  Despite PG&E turning off the power, these two didn't even blink.  If there ever is a Zombie apocalypse, this is the place to be.  First, it is way too steep for Zombie's to ge

2014 SonkinCellars Persona, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$47.00USD

Biased Review.  This is our wine, so it was made in a style that I love.  Of course, I like it.  Although the critics were quite kind to it, YMMV.  This was consumed over two nights and was better on day 2.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has black raspberries, slightly earthy with black pepper and slight roasted herbs.  Full bodied.  On the palate, this has black cherries, char, slight plums and spice.  Medium tannins.  Nice acidity.  Good finish.  This still needs about five more years to peak and should stay there for another ten to fifteen after that.  Right now, it drinks

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