Below you will see the results from our 2011 & 2012 wine club tasting events
Syrah continues to be the main grape of the Northern Rhône and is associated with classic wines such as Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. In the Southern Rhône it is used as a blending grape in the wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas and Côtes du Rhône, where Grenache usually makes up the bulk of the blend. Although its best incarnations will age for decades, less-extracted styles may be enjoyed young for their lively red and blueberry characters and smooth tannin structure. Syrah has been widely used as a blending grape in the red wines of many countries due to its fleshy fruit mid-palate, balancing the weaknesses of other varieties and resulting in a "complete" wine.
From the 1970s and even more from the 1990s, Syrah has enjoyed increased popularity, and plantings of the variety have expanded significantly in both old and newlocations. In the early 2000s, it broke into the top 10 of varieties planted worldwide for the first time.
CaliforniaSyrahs, much like those in France, vary a great deal based on the climate and terroir that they inhabit. In exceptionally warm regions, such as parts of Napa, the wine is often blended with other Rhône varieties. Other appellations, primarily mountainous ones, tend to produce varietal-based wines that can stand on their own.
Due to their concentrated flavors and high tannin content, many premium Syrah wines are at their best after some considerable bottle aging. In exceptional cases, this may be 15 years or longer. Syrah has one of the highest recommended wine serving temperatures at 18 °C (65 F).
January 18, 2012 Wine Tasting results Australian Premium Wines
Old Bridge Cellars - Australian Shiraz 2005-2010
2010 Innocent Bystander Victoria 94 Shiraz 6% Viognier 14.5% alc $20 Wine club ranked this wine 6 out of 6 (score 292 average score of 13.3 out of possible 20 pts. )
Central Victoria is much cooler than the traditional planting grounds for Aussie Shiraz. Here the fruit is privy to a long, slow ripening period, developing depth of flavor and accentuating gentle spice. Varietal characters include pepper, anise and blueberries, in this example complemented by lifted violet aromatics. The palate is firm yet luscious, with a chewy, yet not tannic, finish. Region Victoria
2009 John Duval Wines Entity Shiraz Grenache Mourvedre 13.5% alc $40 Wine club ranked this wine 4 out of 6 (score 333 average score of 15.1 out of possible 20 pts. )
Entity is an intricately structured wine. A true reflection of Barossa’s soil and climate, Entity displays youthful blackberry, blueberry and savory French oak aromas. The palate is rich and generous, with concentrated dark fruit and fine, ripe tannins. The finish is elegant and carries through with excellent fruit intensity. Region Barosa Valley 94 Wine Advocate, 93 pts International Wine Cellar, 90 pts Wine and Spirits, 91 pts Wine Spectator
2009 Brokenwood Hunter Valley Shiraz 2009 13.5% alc $36 Wine club ranked this wine 5 out of 6 (score 293 average score of 13.3 out of possible 20 pts.)
Another stunner from the Brokenwood stable, this elegant Shiraz offers aromas of bramble, mocha and savory char from 14 months oak maturation, alongside blackberry fruit typical of Hunter shiraz. Dark cherry and vanillin are evident on the restrained palate, with quality oak, fine, soft
tannins and a savoury finish. Region Hunter Valley
2008 d'Arenberg The Laughing Magpie Shiraz Viognier 14.5 % alc $29 Wine club ranked this wine 3 out of 6 (score 370 average score of 16.8 out of possible 20 pts.)
Vivid purple in color. A co-fermentation of Shiraz and Viognier, this wine shows floral perfumes, orange blossom and ginger on the nose, enhancing the ripe berry Shiraz characters. These characters flow through onto the palate, where they are met by fine fruity tannins and a slippery glycerol mouth feel. After time in bottle the Magpie’s flavors will meld, with restrained
tannin and acidity producing a seamless velvety mouth feel. 91 pts Wine Advocate, 90 pts Wine Enthusiast, 90 pts International Wine Cellar
2008 Plantagenet Mount Baker Great Southern Shiraz 14.2% $29 Wine club ranked this wine 1 out of 6 (score 379 average score of 17.2 out of possible 20 pts.)
Deep brick red in color with purple hues. The nose delivers ripe blackberry fruits, savory dried herb nuances, and white pepper and forest floor notes alongside subtle toasty oak. Generously fruited, the palate has a strong backbone of aniseed and blackberry flavors with hints of pepper spice and firm
and full textured tannins. Smoky toast and brambleberry characters linger on the beautifully balanced and persistent finish. Region Great Southern.94 pts James Halliday, 90 pts Wine Advocate
2005 Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Shiraz 15.0% alc $85 While very close in scoring wine
club ranked this wine 2 out of 6 (score 376 average score of 17.1 out of possible 20 pts.)
A vintage showing better growing conditions than the last few drought affected ones. Not as massive as say the ’03, yet with all of the great balance and finesse that Georgia’s is known for, including the sweet, spicy fruit flavours and viscous palate. Beautiful magenta tone. Will cellar for ten
years, maybe more, but you can drink from now onwards. flavours and viscous palate. Beautiful magenta tone. Will cellar for ten years, maybe more, but you can drink from now onwards. Region
Heathcote. 95pts James Halliday, 94pts Robert Parker, 93+pts Stephen Tanzer
October 19, 2011 Wine Tasting Event
Wine #1: 2008 Powder keg Syrah ($13- $20)
Powder Keg is a Mendocino county winery, which uses grapes from various California regions.
Wine #2: 2008 Babcock Syrah “Under the Radar” ($11- $15)
This is rich Syrah with a drinkable finesse, lots of ripe fruit, and an
all-purpose approach, from a family-owned winery in the Santa Ynez Valley.
Wine #3: 2005 Renwood Syrah “Red Label” ($8 -$11)
Renwood winery is located in the Sierra Nevada foothills. This vintage
is a blend of Syrah (96%), Viognier, and Semillon (2% each). According to the
winery, the grapes are sourced from 4 different vineyards, then fermented
separately in stainless steel. The lots were then aged for 10 months in French
and American Oak, followed by 24 months in Stainless Steel. This wine received a
Silver medal award in 2010 from the San Francisco Chronicle wine competition.
Wine #4: 2004 Chalone ESTATE Syrah ($16 - $32)
Perched in the remote Gavilan Mountain Range, 1,800 feet above
California's Salinas Valley, this rugged vineyard sits at the base of an extinct
volcano bordering the Pinnacles National Monument. Chalone Vineyard is one of
the few wineries in the U.S. growing grapes in limestone-based soils, the same
as in Burgundy.
Wine #5: 2007 South Coast Carter Estate Private Reserve Syrah ($52)
This wine was made from a selection of Syrah produced on Wild Horse Peak (2400 ft), fermented in stainless steel and held on the skins 14 days post fermentation. After pressing, the Syrah was placed in French Oak hogsheads (300 liter format barrels) and aged for 18 months. This Syrah is tight and structured for cellaring. Over the next several years this wine will age gracefully and show the elegance and finesse that we have all anticipated upon its release.
2010 Wine Competition Results:
Best of Class Gold ~ Los Angeles International
Gold ~ So CAL Temecula Valley
Silver ~ California State Fair
Bronze ~ San Fransisco International
Wine #6: 2006 GUIGAL EX-VOTO HERMITAGE SYRAH ($150 - $400)
The GUIGAL family ownsvineyards in Condrieu and in the Côte-Rôtie with illustrious plots producing
wines such as ‘La Doriane’ in Condrieu, the famous growths of the Côte-Rôtie ‘La Mouline’, ‘La Turque’ and ‘La Landonne’, Côte-Rôtie Château d’Ampuis, Hermitage ‘Ex‑Voto’, and Saint-Joseph ‘Lieu-Dit Saint-Joseph’ in red and white, as well as the famous Saint-Joseph red « Vignes de l’Hospice». These wines have each becomeflagships of their appellations. On the famous hill of Hermitage, the Ex-Voto reds and whites, produced only in the greatest vintages, come from plots with evocative names such as Bessards, Hermite, Greffieux, Murets... a hand picked selection of grapes from these precious terroirs are blended to produce, as if by magic, The great wine of a chosen vintage.
93-95+ points Robert Parker: "The 2006 Hermitage Ex-Voto is slightly denser, revealing
gorgeous aromas of black raspberries, black currants, graphite, herbs, and
truffles. Elegant yet substantial in size, well-textured, and long, this superb
wine should age effortlessly for 25-30 years." (04/09)
94 points Wine Spectator: "A very dense, slightly brawny version, with a mix
of crushed currant and warm fig sauce aromas and flavors, liberally framed with
bittersweet cocoa and roasted espresso notes. The dark, anise- and
graphite-filled finish will need time to settle into itself. Best from 2011
through 2021." (2010)