Category Archives: Syrah/Shiraz | Grenache | Mourvedre

Thacher ‘Vin Rouge’ 2010

PASO ROBLES | CALIFORNIA | $38

A full-bodied Syrah-Grenache blend showing concentrated plum, black cherry and boysenberry with butterscotch, chalk and baking spice. Forward glossy fruit balanced by robust savory notes. Substantive heavy-silk mouthfeel with a finish that reveals this wine’s more intricate flavors. Proof positive here that plus-size angels also may frolic en masse, as their more svelte counterparts, on a needle’s point. 71% Syrah, 29% Grenache. A very good wine. (Reviewed 1/6/15)

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Filed under $21 to $50, California, Syrah/Shiraz | Grenache | Mourvedre

Domaine Tempier Bandol 2010

PROVENCE | FRANCE | $40

Concentrated blackberry and purple plum with deep, organic notes of cacao, French roast coffee, allspice and clove. Medium bodied with immense, broad flavors. Superbly well integrated showing complex savory characteristics. Artisan-rustic and exceptionally well crafted. In this full-color world, we have here a magnificent portrait by Irving Penn in glorious black and white — art as it should be. 75% Mourvèdre, 14% Grenache, 9% Cinsault, 2% Carignan. A very good wine. (Reviewed 1/2/15)

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Filed under $21 to $50, France, Syrah/Shiraz | Grenache | Mourvedre

Idella Syrah 2010

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY | CALIFORNIA | $65
Easy blackberry with roasted plum and orange peel, plus notes of clove, crème de cassis, leather and forest floor. A satisfying and exceptionally balanced wine, medium-full bodied, superbly integrated, with complex flavors coaxed gently on the palate by a luxurious, soft-grain texture. I’d suggest this a Syrah for Cabernet lovers — really — absent the glossy, fruit-forward nature common in Central Coast Syrahs, this wine shows excellent fruit-savory proportions that allow organic notes to sing to the heavens. 93% Syrah, 5% Grenache, 2% Petit Sirah. An excellent wine. Wine provided by Idella Wines. (Reviewed 11/8/14)

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Filed under $51 to $100, California, Syrah/Shiraz | Grenache | Mourvedre

Tablas Creek Mourvèdre 2010

PASO ROBLES | CALIFORNIA | $40
Blackberry, purple plum and Mission fig fruit with savory notes of bay, chalky minerals and sage, plus grapefruit and raisin on the finish. Meaty, perhaps a little gamey, with well-integrated, complex flavors that delight the palate. Full bodied, but not over the top: a big-shouldered wine with little pretense and no attitude. You get what you get, and that’s plenty. I asked what wine she desired, she replied, “I want no more white. I want Mourvèdre.” A very good wine. (Reviewed 10/2/14)

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Filed under $21 to $50, California, Syrah/Shiraz | Grenache | Mourvedre

Tensely Syrah Colson Canyon Vineyard 2009

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY | CALIFORNIA | $38
Extracted blackberry and pomegranate fruit with elements of licorice, moist earth, cedar and lavender. Full bodied and jammy (15% alcohol, no less). A big, brooding, fruit-forward wine with massive flavors, a satin texture and a tannin-dry finish. Like a storm on the horizon, purple-black clouds, damp organic soil in the air and a wisp of Spring flowers to come. A very good wine. (Reviewed 9/21/14).

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Filed under $21 to $50, California, Syrah/Shiraz | Grenache | Mourvedre

Domaine de Terrebrune Rose 2012

BANDOL | FRANCE | $29
Barely-there salmon-pink color with light fruit flavors of pink grapefruit guava, pear and watermelon, plus notes of hibiscus, savory, coin minerals and lemon zest. Complex yet subtle, quaffable yet thought provoking — here’s a wine for the hoi palloi and bougouis alike. She plays in a Czech folk band alongside grizzled gents twice and three times her age and girth, and holds together rhythm and melody with virtuositic prowess wielding a contemporary bass guitar amongst others’ vintage-relic instruments. 50% Mourvèdre, 25% Grenache, 25% Cinsault. A very good wine. (Reviewed 9/13/14)

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Filed under $21 to $50, France, Syrah/Shiraz | Grenache | Mourvedre

Red Car Estate Syrah 2009

SONOMA COAST | CALIFORNIA | $60
Raspberry, young cherry and light plum fruit with notes of cola and caramel, and hint of watermelon rind. Medium bodied, lean for a Syrah — a refreshing diversion from the glossy Central Coast bottlings (not that there’s anything wrong with that) — with unexpected range at the high end and refreshing, food-friendly acidity. Well balanced, perhaps lacking depth for some, thoughtful and a joy to behold. Nimble at the wheel, road-sensitive and thrillingly responsive, not at all a mattress-on-wheels Caddy, you’ve a 911 in your hands. A very good wine. (Reviewed 7/26/14)

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Filed under $51 to $100, California, Syrah/Shiraz | Grenache | Mourvedre

Tablas Creek ‘Cotes de Tablas’ 2010

PASO ROBLES | CALIFORNIA | $35
Purple plum and black cherry fruit up front followed by notes of licorice, violets and toasted sesame. Nicely textured with a slight tooth, medium bodied with an off-dry finish that lingers. A rich wine with restraint, altogether satisfying, full of flavor, thoughtful and still easy to approach. Not merely a book, but a transcendent novel with complexity and prose to suffice the literati yet accessibile for the everyday bibliophile — ah, Hemingway. Grenache 46%, Syrah 39%, Mourvèdre 10%, Counoise 5%. A very good wine. (Reviewed 8/3/14)

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Filed under $21 to $50, California, Syrah/Shiraz | Grenache | Mourvedre

Villa Creek Mourvèdre ‘Damas Noir’ 2007

PASO ROBLES | CALIFORNIA | $40
Black fruit times three: black cherry, black currant and blackberry, plus notes of licorice, cacao, chalk and hints of chai spice. Concentrated fruit, well-balanced (its 15.2% alcohol undetectable) and complex. A big wine, indeed, with wonderfully gamey flavors of wild fruit and earth tamed by barrel and bottle to subtlety. As Jeeves to Wooster. 100% Mourvèdre from Denner Vineyard. A very good wine. (Reviewed 5/24/14)

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Filed under $21 to $50, California, Syrah/Shiraz | Grenache | Mourvedre

Dashe Grenache ‘Les Enfantes Terribles’ 2010

DRY CREEK VALLEY | CALIFORNIA | $24
Soft fruit of red cherry and raspberry with notes of nutmeg, organic soil, asparagus and petrol. Medium bodied, textured mouthfeel, easy to drink with prominent low notes and lively acidity. A playful wine, indeed, but terrible children? Eh, not so much. A good wine. (Reviewed 4/13/14)

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Filed under $21 to $50, California, Syrah/Shiraz | Grenache | Mourvedre