This is from a California Syrah tasting hosted by a friend.  He supplied the first six wines, I provided the last two as a counterpoint to the big, rich, ripe Syrahs we’d be consuming.

 

The first six were to be rated by those in attendance.  Since I only had a couple small tastes of each wine, I will only provide my quick thoughts without a full tasting note or score.  I prefer to spend a few hours with a bottle of wine to give a full assessment.  We knew the wines we’d be tasting, but the wines were decanted and the bottles were hidden until after we had sampled all the wines twice so we could form unbiased opinions.

 

These notes are not meant to look into the future but to provide a snapshot of how they were on this one specific night early in their development.

 

 

 

2009 Torrin Akasha

 

My Impressions

This is a solidly made, full bodied wine that demands a few years in the cellar.  This Paso Robles wine shows the characteristics of a location that gets warm to hot during the day but cools off enough at night to help the wine retain freshness and good acidity.  The wine is deep, dark, inky purple color with loads of black fruit, flowers, smoke, and spice.  This nicely balanced wine has sufficient tannins and acidity to support its size and ripeness level.  On the first pass through the wines this was my favorite, but eventually fell to second.

2009 Torrin Akasha

 

 

 

2010 McPrice Myers Syrah Larner Vineyard

 

My Impressions

As is generally the winery’s style, this was a massive, full bodied, ripe wine.  The wine is from the Santa Ynez Valley on California’s Central Coast.  The wine was an inky purple color with loads of black and blue fruit, licorice, smoke and spices jumping from the glass.  I fairly easily guessed this wine since it really isn’t my preferred style.  It was big and ripe with solid tannins, but to me the relatively lower level of acidity makes it flabby and a touch syrupy.  My least favorite wine of the night and that opinion seemed to be shared by others since the decanter still had a fair amount of wine in it when most of the others had been emptied.

2010 McPrice Myers Syrah Larner Vineyard

 

 

 

2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Syrah Griffin’s Lair

 

My Impressions

This was another deep, dark, inky wine this time from the Sonoma Coast.  This is a fairly tightly wound beast that barely opened up even after being decanted for 4 to 5 hours.  The fruit did show some cooler climate characteristics like violet and some red cherry but it refused to fully open up.  You could sense the power behind the wall of tannins but this will need a few years in the cellar to live up to its full potential.  This was initially my second choice, but its lack of development led it to fall into my third slot.  I’m glad I have this in my cellar, but I won’t even consider opening a bottle for at least 3 to 4 years. The lack of development over a few hours lead me to correctly guess this was the Bedrock.  Their single vineyard Syrahs need a couple years to come together and open up.

2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Syrah Griffin's Lair

 

 

 

2010 Carlisle Syrah Papa’s Block

 

My Impressions

I feel like a broken record…This Russian River Valley wine was a deep, dark ruby color.  This wine had big berries, pepper, spice, and showed a nice meaty element.  The tannins were fairly solid and with the accompanying acidity provided a solid backbone to easily support the wine’s size.  This wine has very nice balance and opened up very nicely over the course of a couple of hours.  This wine was far and away the most improved wine with additional air.  This was initially my number 3 wine, but upon trying an hour or two later, easily became my wine of the night.  I guessed this was the Carlisle wine immediately after trying it the second time.

2010 Carlisle Syrah Papa's Block

 

 

 

2010 Herman Story Syrah White Hawk Vineyard

 

My Impressions

This is another deep, dense, purple wine, this one from Santa Barbara County.  This wine showed nice minerality and dark chocolate notes to go with the solid wall of berries.  There was a load of chewy tannins, but I’d have liked a tad more acidity to help hold the finish together.  This was a well made, full bodied Syrah that was over shadowed by several of the other wines due to its slightly muddled finish.  My number 5 wine based both on the initial taste and a follow up tasting.

2010 Herman Story Syrah White Hawk Vineyard

 

 

 

2010 Jaffurs Syrah Larner Vineyard

 

My Impressions

This Santa Barbara County wine was a deep, dark, ruby to purple color.  The nose on the wine is outstanding with dark berries, minerals, eucalyptus, and a touch of cherry.  This was another tightly wound wine that never really opened up on the palate.  It was full bodied, had very solid tannins, and good acidity but never did come around.  Of the six wines, this one really needs the most cellar time.  I thought this could have been the Jaffurs, more or less by default by eliminating the other wines.  This was my number 4 wine on this night, but I could tell there was something special waiting to be uncaged.

2010 Jaffurs Syrah Larner Vineyard

 

 

 

2009 Anthill Farms Syrah Peters Vineyard

 

My Impressions

This Sonoma Coast Syrah was a deep ruby red color.  The cooler, Sonoma Coast influence was easily noticeable on the nose with a fair amount of cherry coming through as well as white pepper, bacon fat, and stony minerals.  This has more of a medium to full body with fairly solid tannins and very good acidity.  After trying the big bruisers, this almost seemed like a delicate Pinot Noir when I tasted it again after the other wines.

2009 Anthill Farms Syrah Peters Vineyard

 

 

 

2008 Stefania Syrah Eaglepoint Ranch

 

My Impressions

This Mendocino County Syrah was a deep, dark ruby color.  Besides the requisite dark berries, this had a serious smoked meat element on the nose.  Probably because it was the oldest wine in the tasting, it seemed to be the most civilized and open.  This wine had medium to full body, fairly solid tannins, and very nice acidity.  I’m glad I have a few more bottles to open down the road.

2008 Stefania Syrah Eaglepoint Ranch

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

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