Grenache Blanc/Roussanne. Light floral and
honey aromas. Slightly crisp mouthfeel, beautiful
balance, honeysuckle and pineapple flavor, nice
Grenache Blanc/Roussanne. Some honeyed wax
in the nose. Very crisp mouthfeel, great balance,
Viognier. (barrel sample) Lovely nose of white
peach with floral notes. Excellent balance of
fruit and acids, long finish.
Rhone Style Blend. Lots of cherry fruit in
nose and mouth, this blend seems very Pinot-like
taste and structure. Largely a Mourvedre-based
GSM, with about 11% Counoise.
Syrah. Lightly sweet blackberry nose, with
touches of spice and berry throughout. Tasty mouthfeel,
good balance, nice long finish.
Syrah Reserve - Viking Estate. Brooding intense
nose of dark fruit, with a hint of anise and toasted
herb. Gripping on the palate, plenty of chewy
fruit, nice smooth finish.
the quality at Adelaida has been steadily improving
over the last few years. These are some really
Seymour's Syrah. Cocoa-infused spicy blackberry
in the nose. Smooth silky texture on the palate,
excellent balance, smooth long finish.
Syrah - Edna Valley. Nice espresso scent to
the dark fruit in the nose. Rich and meaty mouthfeel,
long smooth finish.
Syrah - California. Fascinating nose of blackberry,
raspberry, and light notes of iodine and beet.
Chewy mouthfeel, nice balance, long finish.
this assistant winemaker at Alban is making some
very nice things on his own.
seminar notes: Palacios)
Roussanne - Columbia Valley. Lots of honeyed
waxy qualities in the nose, delicious flavors,
lightly crisp finish.
Coup d'Etat - Columbia Valley. Nice GSM, with
plenty of black and red fruit, very good balance,
and long finish.
Syrah - Columbia Valley. Touch of oak on the
otherwise nice smoky nose. A bit light in mouthfeel
- almost Pinot-like.
Syrah Reserve - Columbia Valley. That's more
like it. Smoky and rich nose and mouth, excellent
balance, and long full finish.
Viognier - Bien Nacido. Pretty nose of floral
and tropical aromas. Nice pineapple fruit, crisp
on the palate, long finish.
Viognier - Fralich. Somewhat more expansive
than the B/N, crisper and and a bit more minerally
Syrah - Fralich. Blackberry and blueberry
fruit in nose and mouth. Good balance - surprisingly
crisp on the palate, nice long finish.
Syrah - French Camp. More to the black and
red fruit side of things, with lots of ripe fruit.
Syrah - Sleepy Hollow. Fabulous nose of smoky
fruit and herbs. Rich mouthfeel, with lots of
fruit, super balance and long finish.
Syrah - Garys'. A bit sweeter and juicier
that the Sleepy Hollow, same weight on the palate,
excellent balance and finish.
Syrah "Madolyn". Nose of blackberry,
pepper, and lightly smoked herbs. Herb-infused
fruit on the palate, very nice balance, and long
Syrah "Madolyn". Sweeter, slightly
riper nose than the '02. Less ripeness in mouthfeel,
with obvious pepper-infused dark fruit, and long
Mourvedre. Smoked meat and touch of jerky
compliment the black and red fruit in the nose.
Well balanced, with juicy acidity, and long finish.
Syrah - Blue Oaks. Lightly sweet and smoky
nose. Lots of blackberry fruit throughout, gripping
Syrah - Eaglepoint. Gorgeous fruit, thick
and chewy mouthfeel, massive structure, needs
Syrah - Arroyo Seco. Nice fruit, much more
to the herb side of things, with sage and a little
rhubarb in the nose. Full mouthfeel, good balance
some very nice, and really big wines from Larry
Syrah - Cailloux. Sweet dark fruit in nose
and mouth. Very accessible on the palate, nice
balance and finish.
Syrah - En Cerise. Tighter than the Cailloux,
darker in fruit profile and slightly better balance,
Syrah - En Chamberlin. Tightest of the trio,
with a little rusticity in the fruit, and edgy
balance. Nice long gripping finish.
Viognier. Lovely crispness, with lots of stone
fruit and just a touch minerallity.
Syrah. Beautifully aging, there is plenty
of blackberry pie in nose and mouth, very nice
balance and smooth tasty finish.
seminar notes: Domaine
Rose. Wow, almost Tavel-like in nose and mouthfeel,
with lovely floral and cherry notes, meaty texture,
excellent balance and long finish.
Grenache. Plenty of raspberry and spice in
the nose. Delicious flavors on palate, very nice
balance and finish.
Syrah. Lots of minerals come through in the
nose, really punching up the dark fruit. Peppery
and spicy mouthfeel, with excellent balance and
Petite Sirah. Nose of dark fruit and just
a touch of dark olive. Nice and smooth on the
palate, plenty of chewy textures, and long smooth
Grenache . (barrel sample.) Tighter than '03,
but seems fruitier too. Nice chewy raspberry and
black cherry, with an edgy balance and long finish.
Petite Sirah. (barrel sample.) Alert! This
wine will grip your tongue and only begrudgingly
let it go. Packed with massive fruit, if the '02
is this tasty now, I can hardly wait for this
Cote Rotie, Ch. D'Ampuis. Nice roasted herbs
compliment the dark fruit in the nose and mouth.
Lively on the palate, with nice lingering finish.
Syrah. Nice scent of sage in the blackberry
nose. Generous mouthfeel, very nice balance and
Syrah. Noce of herbs and blackberry. Full
mouthfeel, plenty of fruit, very good balance
and finish. Seemingly more complex than the '02,
but still a little tight in its youth.
Syrah "The Aisling". Beautiful nose
of black fruit, with a touch of anise and tar.
Just ripe enough on the palate, with nice long
Syrah - Napa. Fantastic nose of dark fruit
and chocolate mocha. Lots of roasted flavors on
the palate, very good balance, picks up some tartness
on the long finish.
Roussanne. Nice floral honeyed nose. Lightly
waxy honeyed mouthfeel, beautiful balance, and
Viognier. Nose of flowers and white peach.
More tropical in mouthfeel, with very good balance
Grenache/Syrah Blend. Nose of red and black
fruit - nice ripeness. Chewy on the palate, good
balance and finish.
Syrah. Effusive blackberry nose, rich mouthfeel,
and smooth long finish.
these new kids on the block have 40 acres planted
right next door to Tablas Creek. Look for this
vineyard to show up on other labels as well.
Syrah - Bassetti. Nose of dark berry, sage
the barest hint of lemon grass. Peppery, with
a bit of spice and herb o nthe palate, this is
immediately accessible, so you'll need to stash
it away quick before you drink it all.
Syrah - Rockpile. Minerally and almost Petite-like,
with lots of chewy fruit throughout.
Syrah - Fess Parker. Sweet and ripe to the
nose, plenty of black and red fruit, nice balance
Syrah - Ventana. More herbed than the previous
bottlings, with nice espresso scent and rich mouthfeel.
Syrah - Philary. Almost GSM-like in the nose,
with intermingled red and black fruit. Chewy mouthfeel,
with a lightly roasted beet quality, and earthy
Roussanne. Nice honeyed waxy flavors, with
a light crispness, very good balance and long
almost meaty finish.
Grenache Rose - SYV. Nice medium rose color.
Light and crisp on the palate, nice fruit, and
good flavors and finish.
Grenache - Beckmen. Very nice red raspberry
nose and flavors, excellent acidity, long tasty
Grenache - Camp 4. Nose of red and black fruit,
nice ripeness, with raspberry and pomegranate
flavors and long finish.
Syrah - Larner. Nose of blackberry and wet
stone. Minerally in mouthfeel, with fabulous balance
of fruit and acidity, and long finish.
Syrah - Hearthstone. More ripe in nose and
mouth than the Larner, but chewier and plusher
as well. Excellent stuff.
Mikael Sigouin, assistant winemaker at Beckmen,
is doing some very nice things here under his
seminar notes: Kilikanoon)
Viognier - Stolpman. Nice lemon meringue scent
to the light tropical aromas. Rich, yet crisp
in mouthfeel, and very balanced finish.
Optimus. This blend of Syrah, Cab, and Zin
is loaded with red and black fruit, big and chewy
mouthfeel, smooth and tasty throughout its very
Syrah. Huge blackberry nose, with touches
of herb and licorice. Rich and full on the palate,
plenty of oak influences, but wears it very well
through the huge long finish
Coté a Coté. Nose of this GSM
blend is filled with blackberry compote and chocolate.
Rich and lightly sweet in mouthfeel, with a hint
of bittersweet chocolate on the huge long finish.
Syrah. Lovely spiced dark fruit with hints
of herb and anise. Beautifully developed, smooth
and brimming with fruit, excellent balance and
Syrah. Nose of blackberry and bittersweet
chocolate, with a touch of licorice. Chewy rich
mouthfeel, very nice balance,and very long finish.
Syrah. (barrel sample) Well, the streak continues.
A little tighter than the '02, but very similar
in profile, with lots of dark fruit, and touches
of chocolate and licorice.
hey, Steve, I think I like these wines!
seminar notes: Linne
Roussanne. Light honey and waxy notes. Interesting
light toasty component adds to the already tasty
Marsanne. Similar waxy sense in nose and mouth,
but the more floral, flowery and earthy than the
Roussanne, and alittle fatter in mouthfeel.
Rose. Beautiful color, with 60/40 Syrah/Grenache.
Grenache. A bit tight, but showing lots of
red raspberry and pomegranate in the nose and
mouth, with very nice balance and finish.
Syrah. Beautiful smoky and lightly charred
blackberry nose, with just a touch of coffee.
Lots of dark fruit, beautiful balance, and very
long tasty finish.
Petite Sirah. Surprisingly accessible and
smooth on the palates. Lots of creamy dark fruit,
nice balance and very long finish.
Joel Burnstein is making some very nice wines,
sourced from Monterey Co. fruit.
Grenache - Larner. Sweet raspberry nose. Nearly
perfect ripeness, lots of red raspberry fruit,
ery good balance and finish.
Syrah - Larner. Nose of Blackberry and blueberry.
Big mouthfeel, very well balanced, blueberry much
more obvious, long finish.
Syrah. Somewhat cloyingly sweet nose of blueberry
and blackberry. Round and fat on the palate, good
balance, slightly soft fruit, medium-long finish.
Rhone Blend. (Auction Lot #7.) About 75% Syrah,
this GSM blend had very nice balance, lots of
fruit, smooth long finish.
Syrah - Stagecoach. (Auction Lot #8.) Fabulous
nose of dark fruit with a touch of herbs, and
a hint of licorice. Full and rich on the palate,
excellent balance, long smooth finish.
Vin du Soleil. Nice lightly gamey nose of
red and some black fruit. This GSM Rhone blend
seems to hit all the high points with great aromas,
flavors, and textures. Mostly Mourvedre.
Syrah - White Hawk. Nose of blackberry, pepper,
and a touch of sage. Peppery and spicy mouthfeel,
nice balance, bit of meat on the finish.
La Curio "The Nubile"- McLaren Vale.
GSM Rhone blend, made in more of a claret style,
with very good balance, good flavors, and long
Terros - Montsant. Another GSM blend, this
one seems a bit more gutsy and rustic than the
Aussie version. Touches of orange peel on the
nose, good balance and finish.
Dom. Les Aphillanthes. Yet another GSM, this
one's co-fermented and the flavors do seem to
meld well. Very nice!
St. Damien - Gigondas. Mostly Grenache, the
raspberry gets a higher tone with the notes of
orange zest and clove.
Durand - Cornas. Lots of roasted and charred
notes in the nose, less so in mouthfeel, but very
interesting blend of herbed fruit, good balance,
Syrah "The Knob" - Alder Springs.
Fabulous nose of blackberry, coffee, mocha, and
a touch of cake spice. Full and rich mouthfeel,
delicious flavors, excellent balance and smooth
see seminar notes: Pax)
seminar notes: Pikes)
Syrah - "All Night Radio". Slightly
sweet nose and mouthfeel. Lots of red and black
fruit, smooth and rich, good balance, long smooth
Syrah - "The Fight". Nose of dark
fruit, coffee and spices, this one's a bit more
European than the ANR, though still ripe and rich
in mouthfeel, with a smooth long finish.
Carignan. Smoky notes add to the slightly
sweet rustic quality in the nose. Full on the
palate, slightly monolithic.
Grenache - Lytton. Sweet and ripe in both
nose and mouth, almost more of a friendly Zin
in its structure and flavors.
Syrah - Lytton. Nice blackberry fruit, a bit
high-toned in style, chewy on the palate, nice
Petite Sirah - York Creek. Lovely bouquet
of black fruit and pipe tobacco. Rich, if a bit
monolithic on the palate, nice balance and finish.
Syrah - SLH. Slightly sweet and ripe in the
nose. Plenty of black fruit, with touches of cake
spice, chewy mouthfeel, very nice balance, and
long smooth finish.
Syrah - Broken Stones. Nose of black and red
fruit - seems a bit high-toned. Rich mouthfeel,
a bit austere at present, nicely balanced with
a long finish.
Syrah - Rocket Block. This Grenache-based
blend jumps from the glass with raspberry and
blackberry aromas, and a touch of chocolate. Full
and rich in mouthfeel, nice long smooth finish.
I know what you're asking yourself - how could
he miss trying the Bone Rock. Well, with the table
crowd the way it was, I was lucky to taste these
Syrah - Central Coast. Nice sweet blackberry
nose, with touches of smoke and licorice. A bit
stiff in structure, but nicely balanced, with
Syrah - Shadow Canyon. Huge nose of dark fruit,
pepper and spice. Even bigger in mouthfeel, with
lots of gutsy fruit, very good balance and huge
Grenache - Larner. This wine rivaled the Shadow
Cyn Syrah for sheer size. Rich, and to the darker
side of red fruit, packed with black and red raspberry
fruit, lots of mouthfeel, very good balance, big
another taster steered me to these folks, and
I'm glad he found them. Their own vineyard is
in the York Mtn AVA, between Paso and coast.
Syrah - Hall Ranch. Sweet and smoky nose,
with lots of chewy slightly soft fruit, very good
balance, and long finish.
Syrah - Paso Robles. More anise, licorice,
tar end of the spectrum than the Hall version,
nicely balanced and smooth long finish.
Syrah. Tons of dark fruit on the nose, slightly
soft and round on the palate, very smooth throughout,
nice long tasty finish.
Clos Blanc. Lightly tropical nose of peach
and pear, rich mouthfeel, and crisp finish.
Reserve Cuvee. This GSM blend has plenty fo
red and black fruit in the nose. Still young in
mouthfeel, but very accessible, smooth long finsh.
L'Aventure & Tablas Creek Red Rhône
Blend. Auction Lot #13. A blend of 60% Mourvedre
from Tablas Creek, and 40% Syrah from L'Aventure
went into this rich and plush wine. Fabulous nose
of dark fruit, new leather, and herbs. Full and
chewy in mouthfeel, excellent balance and finish.
Rose. Nice meaty quality from this Mourvedre-based
Rose comes through in both nose and mouth. Crisp
mouthfeel, very tasty stuff!
Esprit de Baucastel Blanc. Rich nose and mouthfeel,
lots of floral accents to the peach and apricot
notes. Full and rich on the palate, nice long
Roussanne. Lightly sweet floral-honeyed nose,
light chew to the mouthfeel, good acids, nice
Grenache Blanc. Lightly sweet lemon-lime and
floral-honeyed nose, good acids, nice crisp finish.
Esprit de Baucastel. The 57% Mourvedre in
this blend adds some light smoked meaty and barnyardy
notes to the red and black fruit. Big and rich
on the palate, with a chewy smooth finish.
Syrah. This first bottling of a varietal name
is intended for more for the entry-level or restaurant
crowd. Smooth, not overly extracted, balanced
nicely, smooth finish.
Mourvedre . Light gamey and leather notes
in nose. Smooth mouthfeel, lots of dark cherry
fruit, long finish.
Mourvedre - Amador Co. Nice notes of game
and leather accent the fruit in the nose. Still
lots of fruit and mouthfeel, aging very nicely.
Syrah - Sentinel Oak. Nice sweetness in nose
and mouth, seems fuller than the Syrah in mouthfeel,
very good balance, smooth finish.
Syrah - Estate. Nose of blackberry and light
gamey and herb aromas. Chewy in mouthfeel, nice
balance, long finish.