88 Points | International Wine Cellar , November/December 2012
(61% syrah, 23% petite sirah and 16% grenache): Inky ruby. Cherry, cassis, licorice and olive on the smoky nose. Firm, slightly bitter dark berry flavors gain sweetness with air and pick up a peppery quality. A bit gritty on the finish, which clings with good authority.
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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