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2007 Kamen Syrah Sonoma Valley
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92 Points | Stephen Tanzer's IWC - May/June 2010

($70; fermented with 3% viognier skins; from vines just over the Sonoma border on Mt. Veeder Bright, deep ruby. Wild, primal aromas of black raspberry, game, pepper, licorice, violet and iodine. Then sweet but a bit youthfully bound up, with terrific syrah fruit complicated by just enough wild, gamey character to give it personality. Finishes long and lively. This was extremely promising from barrel and has turned out very well. Winemaker Mark Herold destemmed the fruit, then added back 60% of the stems for the fermentation.

92 Points | Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate

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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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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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