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WINE

Sunday Syrah in Santa Ynez
updated: Oct 02, 2010, 8:30 AM

By Marc Liberts

I was invited to join Brander Vineyard winemaker Fred Brander, Colson Canyon Vineyard owner Rio Rieswig, and a few others on Sunday for a syrah blind tasting and luncheon in Santa Ynez on Sunday. I decided to take 101 instead of 154, and the scenery was beautiful. It is a great ride that is only 15 minutes longer than taking Highway 154.

The theme of the tasting was syrah, with most of the wines featured being from California. I'm always interested in trying Syrah, because it is one of the best growing grapes in the Santa Ynez Valley. Wineries, such as Beckmen Vineyards, Tensley Wines, Margerum Wines, and Melville Vineyards consistently grow and produce excellent Syrah grapes and wines that are now becoming favorites of wine critics such as Robert Parker and Wine Spectator. When you go wine tasting in the Santa Ynez Valley, make sure to try the great syrah wines that the region is known for. I find many of our local syrah wines to be well made and interesting.

Here are my tasting notes:

1. CLEB WINES 2007 Clover Creek Vineyard Syrah - Santa Ynez Valley - A nice nose featuring dark fruit and crushed rocks. Quiet on the palate with nice herbal notes. Overall I found it pleasant, light, and fruity. I rated it 89 points.

2. WHITCRAFT 2007 Syrah - Santa Ynez Valley - Clover Creek - A fruity nose featuring prunes and pepper. I found the wine to be nicely balanced but a bit light. I rated it 87 points.

3. LONGORIA 2008 Syrah - Clover Creek Vineyard - Santa Ynez Valley - This wine features a fruity and spicy nose. On the palate, the wine is big but balanced with a nice black peppery finish. I found it most interesting, and rated it 91 points. It was the favorite of the Clover Creek Vineyard wines.

4. BRANDER VINEYARDS 2008 Syrah - Clover Creek Vineyard - Santa Barbara County - This wine starts with an overtly fruity nose. I found it to be the heaviest of the Clover Creek wines with an overt raisiny taste, and it seemed lightly reduced. I rated it 88 points.

5. L Syrah (LEWIS CELLARS) - 2006 - Hudson Vineyards - Napa Valley - This wine has a pretty perfumed herbal nose, featuring big fruit that is well balanced. I liked it and rated it 89 points.

6. BRANDER VINEYARD - 2007 Colson Canyon Vineyard Syrah - A dusty, fruity nose with some spice present. On the palate, this wine is very big and hot. I rated it 88 points.

7. DENNER VINEYARDS - Syrah - Paso Robles - 2007 - A nice herbal and spicy nose. On the palate, this is what you'd expect from Paso Robles: spicy and plush featuring big fruit with high alcohol. I rated it 91 points. This was one of the overall favorites of the tasting. Paso Robles is famous for their syrah, and I'll write about that in the future.

8. SAXON BROWN - 2005 Syrah - Parmelee Hill Vineyard - Sonoma Valley - interesting menthol and spice nose featuring pleasant crushed rocks and fruit on the palate. A sublime and well-balanced wine that everyone enjoyed. I rated it 90 points.

9. ROAR - 2007 Syrah - Santa Lucia Highlands - Gary's Vineyard - A nice fruity and caramel nose. Big fruit and high acid on the palate. Well-balanced and interesting wine. I rated it 90 points.

10. (again) BRANDER VINEYARDS 2008 Syrah - Clover Creek Vineyard - Santa Barbara County - This wine starts with an overtly fruity nose. I found it to be the heaviest of the Clover Creek wines with an overt raisiny taste and it seemed lightly reduced. I rated it 89 points the 2nd time I tasted it.

11. JABOULET - 2005 - Philippe & Vincent - Crozes Hermitage - for six generations they have produced wine from 74 acres of vineyards throughout the Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage and Vin de pays de la Drome appellations. A bretty barnyard nose with some fruit peeking through. On the palate, this wine is nicely balanced, featuring nice red and black fruit flavors. I rated it 88 points.

12. QUPE - 2008 Syrah - Bien Nacido Vineyard - Santa Maria Valley - Nice fruit and spice on the nose and palate but a bit thin overall and not interesting. I rated it 83 points.

13. SERPENTS PATH - 2007 - Syrah - Central Coast - TERRIBLE. Avoid this wine. Too yucky to rate.

14. J.W. MORRIS - 2007 Shiraz - California - A nice wine for $2.99! The color is obviously much lighter than normal. It has a nice fruity nose and is well balanced and pleasant on the palate with decent fruit and caramel flavors. I rated it 85 points!

15. BRANDER VINEYARD - 2008 Colson Canyon Vineyard Syrah - A ripe and fruity nose with some spice present. On the palate this wine is very fruity with some spicy notes. I rated it 90 points.

16. TWO HANDS - Angels Share - 2007 Shiraz - McLaren Vale - Australia - The oakiest of the wines tasted. I got vanilla, wood, and dark fruit on the nose with big fruit and high alcohol on the palate. However, the wine was well balanced and interesting. I rated it 91 points although the big oak might be too much for some.

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Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 110047 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-10-02 08:58 AM

how do you not get sensory fatigue with all that wine? experience?

must thave been one, at that! lucky guy.

 

 COMMENT 110062P agree helpful negative off topic

2010-10-02 09:31 AM

Looks like fun. Thanks

 

50% of comments on this page were made by Edhat Community Members.

 

 

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