94 Points | International Wine Cellar , November/December 2010
($145; includes 6% grenache and 3% viognier) Glass-staining purple. Highly aromatic nose combines blackberry, cassis, violet, truffle, graphite and cola, with a strong note of cracked pepper. Juicy, precise and shockingly delicate for a big boy (15.5% alcohol), with intense flavors of dark berry compote and candied violet. This has both weight, silkiness, and a strong, energizing core of minerality. Very suave on the back end, finishing with very suave tannins and superb lift.
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...
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... Read More »
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