Susan & I tried these over the weekend:
1. Forlorn-Hope RibollaGialla VareVnyd/NapaVlly (12.10%; 27 cs; www.ForlornHopeWines.com) 2011
: Med.gold color; strong fragrant/perfumed earthy/spicy/peppery/RG bit pungent/waxy complex very aromatic nose; fairly tart but rich/lush/textured spicy/peppery/pungent/RG waxy light earthy/mineral flavor; very long/lingering tart/tangy strong waxy/earthy/peppery/pungent very perfumed/fragrant/RG fairly complex finish; a truly superb RG that can go head-to-head w/ anything from Friuli. $29.00
2. DryCreekVnyd SauvBlanc Taylor'sVnyd/DryCreekVlly/SonomaCnty (MusqueClone; 14.1%; www.DryCreekVineyard.com) 2011
: Med.light yellow color; quite fragrant/perfumed light herbal/SB some muscatty/perfumed lovely nose; rather soft/fat/underacid (maybe a bit RS) rather perfumed/muscatty/floral light SB/herbal/grassy flavor; med.long soft/fat/rich/lush light muscatty/floral bit herbal/SB/grassy finish; a very attractive/fragrant SauvMusque nose but seems soft & fat on the palate and not the minerality I'd like. $26.00 (VSP)
3. Jaffurs Syrah MelvilleVnyd/StaRitaHills/SantaBarbaraCnty (14.8%) 2003
:Very dark color w/ slight bricking; very intense peppery/cracked black pepper/cold-climate/Syrah bit earthy intense blackberry/Syrah/boysenberry some toasty/oak rather complex nose; rather tart strong cracked black pepper/cold-climate Syrah very strong blackberry/Syrah/boysenberry some toasty/charred/oak flavor w/ some tannins; very long intense blackberry/Syrah/boysenberry/cracked black pepper/cold climate some toasty/smokey/oak finish w/ some tannins; a beautiful classic cold-climate Syrah w/ loads of blackberry fruit; ready to go but will go another 2-5 yrs I suspect.
4. JCCllrs Syrah PhilaryVnyd/NapaVlly (15.5%; www.JCCellars.com) JeffCohn/Oakland 2005
: Very dark/near black color; intense blackberry/boysenberry/Syrah/very ripe bit alcoholic/fumey slighht herbal/rosemary strong toasty/charred/oak nose; soft strong toasty/charred/smokey/oak rather hot/alcoholic/fumey intense boysenberry/blackberry/Syrah/very ripe flavor w/ some hard/drying tannins; long rather hot/alcoholic/fumey intense boysenberry/blackberry/Syrah/very ripe strong toasty/charred/oak finish; huge boysenberry fruit but rather over-the-top for my taste and not going anywhere. Way too pricey at $60.00
And a wee BloodyPulpit:
1. ForlornHope: This is the wnry of MattRorick...a guy I've followed from the very start. GeorgeVare has a small plot of Ribolla that he shares w/ a number of different winemakers, to see what they can do w/ the variety and to promote RG as a variety in Calif. This F-H RG has amazing aromatics and texture & structure...as good a RG as you can find anywhere.
2. SauvMusque: This was a "variety" (actually, clone) that was "discovered" by DougMeador at VentanaVnyd down in the SalinasVlly. He was purusing the FPS list of available varieties and spyed a "SauvignonMusque". Curious, he ordered some and planted it. It is a clone of SB that has a particularly aromatic quality...some like a Muscat. His first one was a different beast of SB...not the intensely herbal/grassy rendition of SB you usually got from the SalinasVlly. Since then, it has become quite popular in Calif...though it's often not identified as SauvMusque.
This DryCreek SauvMusque was a bit of a clunker. They usually do a terrific job w/ this variety. This SauvMusque had the aromatics right...but it just didn't deliver on the palate what I'd hoped.
3. Jaffurs: This comes from the original Melville planting out in the StaRitaHills on their Estate. Most of that Syrah was pulled when they planted their Verna'sVnyd on AlisosCanyonRd. Ojai continues to get a small amount from the SRH property.