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by Tom Hill

A self-admitted wine geek, Tom lives in Northern New Mexico and works as a computational physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory doing numerical neutron transport & large scale code development. He has been tasting wines since 1971, participates locally with a couple of large tasting groups in his area, and is practically a fixture at most California wine festivals, such as the Hospice du Rhône, Rhône Rangers, and ZAP. Other interests: Tom is heavily into competitive sport fencing (foil & epee), biking, cooking, basketball, skiing, backpacking, mountain climbing.

Some Syrahs - June 24, 2008


Some bad boys tasted last night (6/24/08) Syrahs:

  1. Cristom Syrah Eola-AmityHills/Estate (14.0%; www.CristomWines.com) 2005: Very dark
    color; very strong cracked black peppery some blackberry/blueberry/Syrah quite distinctive complex classic cold-climate nose; tart rather cracked black pepper strong Syrah/blackberry/blueberry flavor; very long tart some tannic rather cracked black pepper fairly blueberry/Syrah finish w/ fair tannins; striking cracked black pepper character w/ plenty of Syrah fruit beneath; should age well
    for 3-8 yrs; easily the best Cristom Syrah yet; terrific wine at a good price. $29.00
  2. Novy Syrah Garys'Vnyd/SantaLuciaHighlands (14.6%) 2005: Very dark color; very lush/rich
    blackberry/boysenberry/Syrah some spicy/herbal some pencilly/oak very attractive nose;
    soft very lush/round/full light herbal/licorice/spicy very strong blackberry/Syrah slight peppery flavor; med.long soft/lush strong blackberry/blueberry/Syrah some toasty/pencilly/oak light herbal/ peppery finish w/ light tannins; loads of sweet/up-front fruit w/ nice SLH character; ready to drink and might improve some. $26.00
  3. Neyers NapaVlly Syrah Cuvee d'Honneur (HudsonVnyd; 13.9%) 2000: Very dark color; very
    intense roasted/smokey/pungent/NorthernRhone/espresso/FrRoast coffee bit herbal some
    blackberry/Syrah stunning/complex nose; soft/smooth balanced/textured very roasted/smokey/
    espresso/Rhonish some herbal/blackberry/Syrah very complex flavor; very long/lingering very Rhonish/roasted/espresso/coffee/pungent some blackberry/Syrah finish w/ smooth/polished
    tannins; loads of NorthernRhone character and good Syrah fruit and complexity; probably
    nearing its peak; fairly priced at $53.50
  4. EdmundsStJohn Syrah Parmalee-HillVnyd/SonomaCnty (14.4%;www.EdmundsStJohn.com)
    P&B by Thirsty Pagans With Big Ideas 2005
    : Black color; very intense blackberry/boysenberry/
    Syrah very spicy some peppery bit green olive rather primary nose; tart very strong blackberry/ boysenberry/Syrah fairly spicy/peppery bit pungent flavor;very long blackberry/boysenberry/Syrah spicy/pungent balanced finish w/ fair tannins; loads of rich Syrah fruit but great structure & balance; rather primary now and badly needs age to show its stuff; will easily go out 10-15 yrs; another SteveEdmunds winner; a steal at $27.00
  5. Jaffurs Syrah ThompsonVnyd/SantaBarbaraCnty (15.1%; www.JaffursWine.com) 2004: Black color; whiff of VA but very strong peppery/blackberry/Syrah some toasty/FrOak rather
    peppery/spicy nose; tart big/tannic very spicy/peppery taosty/oak strong blackberry/ blueberry/ Syrah flavor; very long rather tannic somewhat toasty/FrOak strong peppery/spicy/blackberry/Syrah finish; classic JaffursThompson that needs 4-8 yrs yet; seems a bit tight & closed right now. Great price at $32.00
  6. AlbanVnyd Syrah Lorraine AlbanEstate/EdnaVlly (14.7%) 2000: Black color; very intense
    blackberry/boysenberry/Syrah slight reduced/pungent/licorice very perfumed/aromatic somewhat smokey/Rhonish complex nose; big/huge fruit rather tannic intense blackberry/boysenberry/Syrah rather Rhonish/pungent/charred/roasted complex tart flavor; very long/lingering intense blackberry/ boysenberry/Syrah some Rhonish/roasted/pungent/coffee some charred/FrOak finish w/ ample tannins; a classic Alban Syrah that needs more time; should go out another 10 yrs at least; stunning Syrah. $85.00

And a wee BloodyPulpit:

1. This was the first tasting of the BacchusBadBoys group and I thought it would be
interesting to expose them to some of my favorite Syrah producers. The focus was to be on cold-climate Syrahs and the diversity they can show. The wines seemed to be well-received by the group. The older wines, from my archives, were pretty much where I expected them to be. The Neyers Cuvee was particularly stunning for its Northern Rhonish character. The Alban was equally stunning. All-in-all, a decent selection of Syrahs.


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