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2002 Jaffurs Wine Cellars Syrah Upslope Santa Barbara County

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91 Points | International Wine Cellar , January/February 2005

($75; a special bottling that reportedly comprises the best two barrels from Thompson Vineyard fruit) Full medium ruby. High-toned aromas of blackberry, violet pastille, black licorice, sassafras and eucalyptus. Very youthfully unevolved, with blackberry, violet and licorice flavors similar to the aromas, plus some oaky torrefaction. A bright, spicy, focused syrah, and a classic example of this variety grown in Santa Barbara County Finishes with fine tannins and excellent length. Give this at least a couple more years of bottle aging.

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About California

It is remarkable that an industry essentially less than a half-century old could capture the attention of the American wine-buying public to the degree that California has. Powerful consumer interest in California wine is driven by two major factors. The more obvious reason is that California's best wines, which come from grapes grown in...

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Syrah

While the grape is currently grown throughout the world, the most elegant Syrahs still come from the Northern Rhone valley, particularly the appellations of Côte Rôtie, Cornas, and Hermitage. Here, steep, terraced vineyards help produce full-bodied, intense, tannic wines loaded with white pepper and red fruit. In the vineyard, Syrah is largely cooperative- vines are productive, but not overly vigorous. Skins are thick, helping the grape...
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