Category Archives: Syrah/Shiraz | Grenache | Mourvedre

Babcock Syrah ‘Frying Pan’ 2005

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY | CALIFORNIA | $50
Deep purple plum with blackberry and black currant superbly integrated with complex flavors of anise, porcini, cacao and mineral spirits. Robust, forward fruit, full bodied, slightly glossy and a luxurious silky texture. I know three Bings: cherry, Chandler and Crosby — this is the crooner, smooth, rich timbre and all. An excellent wine. (Reviewed 4/13/14)

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

Stolpman Syrah 2010

SANTA YNEZ VALLEY | CALIFORNIA | $30
Purple plum and wild berries with licorice, cardamom and graphite minerals. Big bodied, forward fruit and focused. He means well and has the strength to do what others cannot, yet his capacity has limits — simple, perhaps brutish — and clumsiness eventually prevails. A good wine. (Reviewed 3/30/14)

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

L’Aventure ‘Cote a Cote’ 2007

PASO ROBLES | CALIFORNIA | $80
Cedar and violets on the nose yielding to concentrated blackberry and black currant fruit with notes of tobacco, chalk and tar. Forward fruit with plenty of savory flavors for balance. A complex and powerful wine (15.9% alcohol!) with massive flavor and character. Inky opaque to the eye, silky smooth on the palate and rewardingly lingering at the finish. He’s a grand character, robust in size and manner, nearly large enough to possess gravitational force, and impeccably tailored, too — he fills a room, and yet in dialogue, he causes others to feel they are the center of it all. 40% Grenache, 40% Mourvèdre, 20% Syrah. An excellent wine. (Reviewed 1/20/14)

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

Bodegas Ordonez ‘Zerran’ 2011

MONSANT | SPAIN | $17
Forward cherry and pomegranate fruit with accents of sassafras, sage and citrus peel. Full-bodied, with extracted flavors. Focused, flavorful and adaptable. Dry finish with a pleasant acidic perk. Here’s a charmer: Utterly enjoyable, simple with a purpose, exits suddenly, leaves only fond memories. A guest you’ll ask to return. 50% Garnacha, 40% Mazuelo, 10% Syrah. A good wine. (Reviewed 9/5/13)

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Filed under $20 and less, Spain, Spanish Varietals, Syrah/Shiraz | Grenache | Mourvedre

Bodegas Ordonez ‘Zerran’ 2011

MONSANT | SPAIN | $17
Forward cherry and pomegranate fruit with accents of sassafras, sage and citrus peel. Full-bodied, with extracted flavors. Focused, flavorful and adaptable. Dry finish with a pleasant acidic perk. Here’s a charmer: Utterly enjoyable, simple with a purpose, exits suddenly, leaves only fond memories. A guest you’ll ask to return. 50% Garnacha, 40% Mazuelo, 10% Syrah. A good wine. (Reviewed 9/5/13)

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Filed under $20 and less, Spain, Syrah/Shiraz | Grenache | Mourvedre

Herman Story Syrah ‘Nuts & Bolts’ 2008

CALIFORNIA | $45
A massive, but not fruit-forward, wine with concentrated ripe blackberry, black cherry and purple plum balanced with dark natural cocoa, smoke, sarsaparilla, nutmeg and chalk. Complex with a smooth texture, pleasant chew and long finish. Compacted, intense, opaque with an explosion of flavor. Its 16.1% alcohol cannot go without mention, but the wine stands up to it, and it does so very well, revealing a balance, well-integrated drink that’s impossible to put down. He’s a brute in appearance only. An excellent wine. (Reviewed 8/31/13)

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

Adelaida Syrah Anna’s Vineyard 2009

PASO ROBLES | CALIFORNIA | $32
Santa Rosa plum, red cherry and blueberry fruit seasoned with chalk, camphor, oak and a suggestion of orange peel. Flavorful, forward, focused and fruity, showing a slight gloss with a weighty satin texture — but we have restraint, a Central Coast Syrah surprise. She dons her red shoes eschewing the matching purse, and you notice them more. A very good wine. (Reviewed 7/4/13)

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

Nichols Syrah D’Anbino Vineyard 2002

PASO ROBLES | CALIFORNIA | $33
Medium bodied with soft, mature blackberry and raisin with notes of chalk, soil and dry leaves. Quite cooked and long in the bottle. Well past its prime. At the end of a long journey, there is the one last stop before the end, made partly out of curiosity, partly out of some acquaintance, but mostly out of fatigue. It is a difficult find, and yet all would have been better if passed by. Really not very good at all: Sadly, it is a poor wine. (Purchased at the winery May 2013 and reviewed 5/15/13)

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

Jaffurs Syrah 2008

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY | CALIFORNIA | $25
Blackberry and purple plum integrated with organic flavors of loamy soil, bay, rosemary, miso and bacon. A supremely enjoyable wine with great balance, a silky smooth texture and a long finish. Full bodied yet not enormous — its powerful 15.5% alcohol undetectable. Fruit and organic notes join as one, nearly indistinguishable as individual elements. A forest, not trees. An excellent wine. (Reviewed 2/2/13)

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

Foxen Syrah Tinaquaic Vineyard 2006

SANTA MARIA VALLEY | CALIFORNIA | $46
Mature black cherry, plum and dark berries with notes of bay and sumac, and a hit of citrus pith on the finish. Medium bodied — much lighter than one would expect from a 15.7% alcohol wine — and nicely integrated with a good balance of fruit and savory flavors. Velvet smooth texture with a slight grain. This chap draws you in, easygoing and ready with polite praise, and the auspicious encounter portends a great friendship. A very good wine. (Reviewed 1/27/13)

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