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TomHill

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WTN: CentralCoast Syrahs...(long/boring)

by TomHill » Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:43 pm

We tasted this week (11/7/12) some CentralCoast Syrahs:
1. Loxton Syrah Reserve SonomaCnty (14.5%; www.LoxtonWines.com) ChrisLoxton/GlenEllen 2005: Very dark color;
strong blackberry/Syrah somewhat spicy/peppery light smokey/toasty/oak really lovely/perfumed nose; soft
rich/lush strong blackberry/Syrah some licorice/spicy/peppery bit hard/tannic some toasty/smokey/oak flavor;
long ripe/lush/blackberry/Syrah/bluebrry bit hard/tannic rather structured light toasty/smokey/oak
bit peppery/pungent/licorice finish; needs 2-6 yrs yet; quite a delicious Syrah that reminds me of those
from Bedrock and Wellington. $35.00
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2. Spottswoode field book TerraBellaVnyd/PasoRobles (14.5%; 81% Syrah/19% Grenache; 179 cs) 2007: Very dark/
black color; strong toasty/oak somewhat plummy/blackberry/Syrah/ripe licorice/jammy/Paso nose; soft rich/
blackberry/Syrah/licorice/jammy/plummy strong toasty/charred/oak rather severly tannic flavor; long ripe/
plummy/blackberry/Syrah/licorice strong charred/toasty/oak finish w/ stern/hard/severe tannins; tastes like
a Paso Syrah made like a high-end NapaVlly Cab; needs much time and may eventually develop into a very
interesting Syrah; the tannins are stern and unyielding yet the wine doesn't seem overextracted.
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3. Novy Syrah SantaLuciaHighlands (14.2%) 2007: Med.dark color; really lovely herbal/rosemary very spicy/black
cherry/blackberry/Syrah light toasty/oak nose; soft/lush/ripe herbal/rosemary/thyme/pungent strong blackberry/
black cherry/Syrah light pencilly/toasty/oak flavor w/ light tannins; slight grapfruity/tangy ripe/lush very
spicy/rosemary/thyme/herbal strong blackberry/black cherry/Syrah light pencilly/oak finish w/ light tannins;
a bit brighter & more drinkable than the Rosella's; speaks strong of SLH Syrah and quite interesting &
drinkable; in a very good place right now. $21.50
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4. Novy Syrah Rosella'sVnyd/SantaLuciaHighlands (14.2%) 2009: Very dark color; deeper more licorice/pungent/
ozone strong blackberry/Syrah/spicy/bit chocolaty very light toasty/pencilly/oak nose; tart bigger/structured
pungent/licorice/ozone slight herbal/rosemary/SLH Syrah/blackberry bit tangy/grapefruity some toasty/oak
flavor w/ fair tannins; long big/structured/tannic some toasty/oak rich/pungent/licorice/ozone strong
blackberry/SLH Syrah slight herbal/rosemary more structured and not as bright/lively as the '07; needs 2-5
yrs more age. $24.00
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5. Novy Syrah Garys'Vnyd/SantaLuciaHighlands (14.2%; 287 cs) 2008: Very dark color; strong blackberry/black
cherry/Syrah more herbal/SLH Syrah/rosemary some smokey/toasty/oak classic SLH nose; soft bit tannic/hard
more herbal/rosemary/SLH Syrah strong blackberry/black cherry/Syrah very attractive flavor w/ some tannins;
very long soft herbal/rosemary/SLH Syrah light toasty/smokey/oak strong black cherry/Syrah/blackberry finish
w/ modest tannins; needs another 2-4 yrs; my favorite of the Novys and shows the most SLH Syrah character;
very delicious/good-drinking Syrah. $23.00
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6. Novy Syrah Garys'Vnyd/SantaLuciaHighlands (13.5%) 2009: Very dark color; rather more smokey/oak more ripe/
blackberry/Syrah bit chocolaty/licorice rather toasty/oak nose w/ less SLH Syrah/herbal character; softer
richer/riper/licorice/blackberry/Syrah/chocolaty strong toasty/oak/smokey flavor w/ modest tannins; long
soft ripe/lush/blackberry/Syrah some toasty/smokey/oak very light herbal/SLH Syrah/rosemary finish w/
light tannins; seemes riper/softer/less structured than the '08 but still a very nice Syrah. $27.00
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7. Carlisle Syrah JamesBerryVnyd/PasoRobles (14.9%; 100 cs; 66% Clone 470, 33% Clone 174; U/U;
Drk: late 2009-2018) 2006
: Very dark color; some pencilly/toasty/oak ripe/blackberry/boysenberry/Syrah bit
alcoholic/chocolaty ripe nose w/o straying into the overripe/jammy territory; big/structured/tannic strong
blackberry/boysenberry/Syrah bit alcoholic/chocolaty/licorice some toasty/oak flavor; very long some toasty/
oak strong blackberry/boysenberry/Syrah/chocolaty finish w/ ample tannins; a big structured Paso Syrah that
doesn't seem overripe at all; a bit simpler than the '07. $51.50
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8. Carlisle Syrah JamesBerryVnyd/PR (15.0%; 0.9 tons/acre; 25% new Fr.oak; U/U; 100/110 cs) 2007: Very dark color;
quite spicy/peppery strong blackberry/Syrah/boysenberry bit licorice/pungent/graphite some toasty/charred/oak
nose; bit softer/smoother/lusher fairly tannic/structured strong blackberry/Syrah/framboise/licorice/peppery/
spicy some toasty/oak flavor; very long smoother/lusher strong spicy/blackberry/Syrah/boysenberry/licorice/
peppery some toasty/oak finish w/ ample tannins; seems more balanced & smoother than the '06; shows no
alcoholic heat; maybe the best JamesBerry Syrah I've had. $51.75
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9. Carlisle Syrah Rosella'sVnyd/SantaLuciaHighlands (15.3%; 100 cs; U/U; Drk: 2008-2013) 2006: Dark color; strong/
ripe/blackberry/boysenberry/Syrah slight rosemary/herbal/spicy/peppery some toasty/oak bit alcoholic/fumey
very attractive nose; soft rich/lush/textured very strong blackberry/Syrah/boysenberry light rosemary/herbal/
SLH Syrah light toasty/oak some toasty/charred/oak slightly hot/alcoholic flavor w/ fair fine-grained tannins;
very long light herbal/rosemary/thyme very strong blackberry/Syrah/boysenberry/licorice some toasty/oak finish
w/ smooth tannins; shows a bit of alcoholic heat but very good SLH/herbal character; lovely Syrah. $40.50
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10. Carlisle Syrah Rosella'sVnyd/SantaLuciaHighlands (14.7%; 190 cs) 2007: Very dark color; very strong blackberry/
Syrah/spicy/peppery quite herbal/rosemary/thyme/spicy light toasty/oak nose; slighhtly tarter/more angular rather
herbal/rosemary/SLH Syrah very strong blackberry/Syrah/boysenberry light toasty/oak flavor w/ ample tannins; very
long intense blackberry/Syrah/spicy/peppery some toasty/oak rather pungent/herbal/rosemary/spicy/thyme finish
w/ fair hard/tannins; much more SLH Syrah/herbal character than the '06; bit more structured & tannic and needs
more age than the '06; terrific example of SLH Syrah and why this AVA is so special. $40.25
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11. Carlisle Syrah SantaLuciaHighlands (15.0%; 125 cs; Drk: 2012-2020) 2009: Dark color; bit simpler less SLH/
herbal strong blackberry/Syrah/boysenberry light toasty/oak nose; soft ripe/blackberry/Syrah slight SLH/herbal/
thyme fairly smooth almost simple light/toasty/oak flavor w/ modest tannins; long soft/rich/lush/ripe strong
blackberry/Syrah slight thyme/herbal light toasty/oak finish w/ light tannins; fairly forward & drinkable
and speaks quietly of SLH Syrah; very nice drinking and no overripeness nor alcohol evident. $27.00
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12. Carlisle Syrah Calif Novy/Carlisle HdR Cuvee (16.2%; Page-Nord/Rosella's/TeldeschiRanch; 10 cs) 2001: Very dark
color w/ a bit of browning; slight TCA/corked/musty bit oxidized rather hot/volatile/fumey strong EA/little
fruit nose; very ripe/overripe volatile/hot/fumey slight musty/TCA/cardboardy rather syrupy/over the top/alcoholic
flavor w/ little fruit or tannins; a badly compromised wine for some reason. $nc (MT)
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13. Carlisle Syrah SierraMarVnyd/SantaLuciaHighlands (14.3%; 240 cs; 33% whole clusters; U/U) 2010: Very dark/black
color; very strong chocolaty/peppery/spicy bit Rhonish/pungent strong blackberry/Syrah/ripe/chocolaty light herbal/
rosemary/SLH quite spicy lovely nose; somewhat tart very spicy/peppery strong blackberry/Syrah/licorice bit
Rhonish/smokey light toasty/charred/oak some complex flavor w/ some tannins; very long/lingering bit Rhonish/
smokey/coffee slight charred/oak strong very spicy/blackberry/Syrah/licorice slight herbal/rosemary some complex
finish w/ fair tannins; needs 3-8 yrs yet; easily my favorite of all these Syrahs; terrific Syrah that speaks
quietly of SLH. $36.00
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A the usual bloviations from TheBloodyPulpit:
1. Loxton: I have, of course, followed ChrisLoxton's Syrahs from the very start; 1998 when he started showing them
at HdR. In that less-than-ideal venue; I thought they were nice Syrahs, but just that. This is the first time
I've had one in my tastings. I was rather impressed with it. It showed some peppery character that suggested
some cold-climate Syrah therein.
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2. Novy/Carlisle HdR Cuvee: This was a btl gifted me by a friend, MitchTallan, who bought into this HdR Auction lot.
This wine absolutely mystified me. There was a definite, but low-level, TCA infection. There was a slight
oxidative character. But I could not decide if this was a wine that was badly compromised by the TCA, a wine
that was compromised by a bad cork, or a huge/over-the-top/alcoholic fruit bomb that had gone south like some
of the Saxum Syrahs. Would like to try another btl sometime.
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3. Novy: I have, of course, followed the Novy Syrahs from the very start. I remember how excited I was when Adam
announced his new label and that he was now making Syrah. I tend to prefer Adam's SLH Syrahs to his others. They
just seem to be a bit more distinctive and interesting than the RRV/DCV Syrahs he makes. And the Page-Nord
Syrahs I find the least interesting of his Syrah tableau. But, across the board, they're some of my most favorite
Syrahs at very good prices and my group buys a fair amount of them.
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4. I have, of course, followed MikeOfficer's Carlisle wines from the very start. Actually, from before the very
start, back when he was showing his Ho-Made Zin at the ZAP event. Needless to say, my group likes them, across
the board, and there's probably more Carlisle wines in LosAlamos, per capita, than anywhere in the World.
These were, as I recall, the first time I've tasted (other than from barrel) Mike's CentralCoast Syrahs.
I am such a slacker sometimes. I was mightly impressed. Some of the best Syrahs I've had from both PasoRobles
and the SLH. The Pasos were not as ripe as some that come from there and showed more structure than most I
try from Paso. The SLH Syrahs show much that same structure, more than most other SLH Syrahs; and speak
quietly of that SLH Syrah herbal character. Perhaps Adam's SLH Syrahs display the SLH terroir stronger than
Mikes. But Mike's Rosella's Syrah were absolutely terrific and the SierraMar perhaps the most compelling
SLH Syrah I've yet had.
Tom

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