2006 Bugay Vineyards Syrah Estate Sonoma County
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4.25 out of 5 stars!
Member Reviews:

***** Monster Syrah
Holy moly Batman, this Syrah is a monster! First, let me just say that you could spend a half an hour just taking in the nose on this wine. Its an explosion of black cherry and other mountains berries. It is purple and thick in the glass and then BAM! You taste it and your taste buds say, "what the heck was that and give me some more"! WA, you have delivered the goods on this one. Well done Bugay. I feel like I paid a third of what this wine is worth. That's the value of WA...
-- Mark from San Antonio TX

***** Amazing Syrah!
Deep garnet/black. Gorgeous nose full of blackberries and black cherries tinged with a little earthiness and some road tar/creosote. Loads of glycerin and immense on the palate, full of intense black fruits. Extraordinarily smooth and velour like. Long smooth finish - and all this after only five minutes in the glass with no decanting. This is intense with sweet fruit and is much bigger than the '05, which I thought was the epitome of Syrah. At 15 minutes some smokiness emerges along with everything else still going on. An amazing bargain! If it improves with age I don't know if I can stand it. At least 95 points from me.
-- Ron from Rolla, MO

***** Seamless Performer
Reddish-purple hue. Ripe red plum and boysenberry bouquet. Brambly fruit persists braced with new-growth white oak and smokehouse game. A long finish heightened with black vanilla pod, nutmeg, and worn leather. SO balanced throughout - seamless integration all around. Not a fireworks or stunner bottling, but a serious performer, especially at this price point. 90/B
-- Derek from Oreland, PA

Blackberry Bramble Atop Crystal Springs Road

Admittedly, there aren't many. But, America's greatest Syrahs rank among the most luscious, vibrant reds on the coast. All are nursed to ripeness on poor soils where vines struggle to push out a couple tons of fruit per acre. Most are found on the cold perches of Sonoma Coast. But just a few -- like this one -- are grown 1800 feet in elevation, on manicured, nosebleed slopes, high above the valley's fog line.

The first time we heard John Bugay's name was in 2009, while seated on bar stools at the most talked about young winery in the valley. Duncan Meyers and Nathan Roberts had just burst upon the critical scene, putting out a series of single vineyard Arnot-Roberts Syrahs that garnered 94-point scores from Parker and Tanzer. The Forestville winery was threadbare, but Meyers and Roberts didn't need glitter to blow us off our seats.

That afternoon, Duncan and Nathan took us on an olfactory tour of their favorite vineyard sites. It began at Griffin's Lair and Hudson Vineyard. Then, we moved on to the high slopes of Clajeux and the tight clusters of Alder Springs. But it was the last wine that left the most indelible impression. We finished the day with a voluptuous red, infused with blackberry fireworks, lightly tinged with sweet spices and underbrush. The wine had been drawn from a vineyard set high up on the eastern face of Spring Mountain. The next day, we were on our way to the top of Crystal Springs Road.

Soon after John Bugay purchased this panoramic property, he began clearing trees. Then he cut work roads into the forested mountain top. The vineyard crew followed, hand-carving terraces into the rocky substrata, before planting Syrah on a south facing slope where it would be bathed by afternoon sun, as it was cooled by maritime breezes. That exposition would prove prescient.

As Roberts and Meyer suggested, Bugay spared no expense, farming obsessively, each year eking out a tiny crop of terrifically concentrated, pert berry clusters. The Syrahs that would be drawn off those rocky terraces would be luscious, massively concentrated, and finely chiseled in structure. While bombastic and juicy in their youth, these muscled Syrahs were just begging for a 3-5 year cellar slumber.

Over the past three years, Bugay's astonishing Cabernets ("Empress," "Rocheuses," and "Incline One-Nine") have garnered more 5-star ratings than any in WineAccess history. But, as would be borne out on that first trip up the mountain, it's the winegrower's Syrahs that steal much of the thunder at the top of Crystal Springs Road.

Like the 2005, the 2006 Bugay Vineyards Estate Grown Syrah is dark purple/black to the edge. The nose is of wild blackberry bramble, infused with dark plum and licorice, touched with leather. The attack is massive, filled with crushed black fruits, lush and opulent -- a great coastal take on a Cornas theme. But what most sets this one apart are the fine dusty tannins that so perfectly punctuate each of Bugay's brilliant mountain reds.

Tasting Notes

2006 Bugay Vineyards Syrah Estate Sonoma County
"Deep purple color. Explosive aromas of blackberries and crushed red fruits, laced with sweet herbs, a touch of new wood cedar. Rich and intense with tremendous black fruit concentration, silken and saturated, all bracketed by remarkable high elevation vibrancy. Drink now for the sheer hedonism of it all -- or age for up to 5 years in a cool cellar."
-- WineAccess Travel Log

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