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2008 Zaca Mesa Winery Syrah Black Bear Block Santa Ynez Valley
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91 Points | Stephen Tanzer's IWC - November/December 2012

(sourced from a 3.5-acre block that was planted in 1978, on its own roots):  Inky ruby.  Pungent aromas of dark berry preserves, cherry pit, olive tapenade and mocha, with a smoky overtone.  Broad dark berry and bitter chocolate flavors display very good depth and surprising energy, picking up spiciness with air.  The long, sappy finish features slow-building tannins and a hint of candied licorice.  These are reportedly the oldest syrah vines in Santa Barbara County.

90 Points | Wine Spectator

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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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