We tried Sat night at our BacchusBadBoys Xmas Party:
1. HugCllrs Syrah BassettiVnyd/SLOCnty (13.1%) 2004
: Very dark color w/ little bricking; bit funky aromas at first that cleared to very strong blackberry/boysenberry/Syrah quite peppery/cold-climate/cracked black pepper light earthy/smoky/toasty/oak bit roasted/Rhonish/Cornas/Clape-like lovely complex nose; fairly tart bit lean/metallic strong blackberry/Syrah/peppery/cracked black pepper/cold-climate some Rhonish/Cornas-like/roasted slight tannic/dried-out/angular flavor; long bit tannic/dried-out/angular strong blackberry/Syrah/boysenberry peppery/roasted/Rhonish/Clape-like some tart/tangy/metallic finish; no signs of being tired but starting to dry out a bit on the palate; drink up. $27.00
2. SonomaCoastVnyds Syrah ClaryRanch&HummingbirdHillsVnyd/SonomaCoast (14.56%; TA: 0.669; 3955 cs; www.SonomaCoastVineyards.com) Winemaker: AnthonyAustin/Sebastapol 2003
: Med.dark color w/ slighht bricking; rather strong toasty/Fr.oak/charred slight plastic/new car/naugahyde metallic/ozone/pungent somewhat spicy/blackberry/Syrah/earthy bit complex nose; very tart rather earthy/pungent/ozone/metallic/tangy bit plastic/naugahyde/new vinyl rather toasty/charred/oak some blackberry/Syrah/spicy somewhat tannic/dried-out/astringent flavor; long strong toasty/charred/smoky/oak some blackberry/spicy/Syrah/earthy some tannic/astringent/dried-out finish; no signs of being tired but starting to dry out on the palate and only headed downhill from here. $26.00
And a wee BloodyPulpit:
1. Hug: This is the 2'nd best wine I've ever had from AugieHug. The first best being the same wine I had 2 weeks ago. It showed plenty of cold-climate/peppery character and reminded me some of a Clape Cornas in it slightly rustic character.
Susan&Ellis Bassetti's vnyd, out West of YorkMtn near the coast is one of the truly cold-climate Syrah vnyds in Calif. Since SteveEdmunds dropped the vnyd and MatGarretson departed Paso, I've not had anything recent from the BassettiVnyd...so don't really know if they're holding up, quality-wise.
2. SonomaCoastVnyds: This was a wnry started by John & Barbara Drady. They hired TonyAustin as their winemaker. The operation was sold some 4-5 yrs ago and I haven't tried anything recently from the, The Drady's are still involved in some level and Tony remains the winemaker. My sense is that the prices are a biit on the pricey side.
TonyAustin was the founding winemaker at FirestoneCllrs, working w/ AndreTschelichov. He made some of the first really good Pinots in SantaBarbaraCnty. I don't think Tony really gets the credit for his early contributions he made to SBC wines. He left Firestone and started his own AustinCllrs label and planted the AlisosCanyonVnyd. After a few yrs hiatus, he returned to his roots in SonomaCnty as winemaker at SonomaCoastCllrs.