2009 Ojai "Melville Vineyard" Sta. Rita Hills Syrah

SKU #1140304 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Every bit as good, with a touch more gaminess and meatiness (which is common for the vineyard), the 2009 Syrah Melville dishes out superb blackberry, pepper, bacon fat and smoke as well as supple, voluptuous feel on the palate. Medium to full-bodied, with gorgeous purity of fruit and a solid mid-palate, it will have over a decade of longevity. (JD)  (8/2013)

93 points Vinous

 A distinctly powerful, brooding Syrah, the 2009 Melville is going to need some time to come around. Tar, menthol, graphite, smoke and earthiness all flesh out in the glass over time. This is an especially somber wine from Ojai with considerable gravitas and no shortage of personality. This is a fabulous set of wines from Ojai...Frankly, I am not sure where to start, as there are so many wines here that are worthy of serious consideration...Suffice it to say I can't wait to taste the rest of 2010 Syrahs. As a consumer, sometimes it feels there are no great values left in California. Ojai is a rare exception. These wines deliver the goods (and then some) yet remain exceptionally fairly priced.  (7/2013)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright purple. Smoky dark berry liqueur and Indian spices on the nose, with seductive floral and bacon fat qualities adding complexity. Very syrah. Fat and juicy, offering sweet, concentrated blackberry and cassis flavors, velvety texture and strong spicy lift. Dusty tannins give shape and grip to the finish, which lingers with strong, smoky persistence.  (11/2013)

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Price: $39.99
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Staff Image By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/19/2013 | Send Email
On a recent trip down the Central Coast I was lucky enough to get an appointment at Ojai Vineyards. Tucked away in a beautiful spot in the town of the same name it would be easy to overlook the winery being that there is no advertising, no ballyhoo, heck there isn’t even a sign on their gate letting you know where they are. But once you are there it becomes readily apparent the level of attention and detail that is put into all of their wines. I have long stated that they are one of my top two or three producers of Syrah in the Central Coast and easily one of the top five in the state. Don’t believe me? Check out this 2009 “Melville Vineyard” Syrah. This will appeal to both camps of Syrah fans exceptionally well. If you like fruit and ripeness with your Syrah it is certainly here with brooding, intense flavors of dried blackberry, sweet plum and layers of mocha. But it is also incredibly spicy and will hold its own with anything coming out of the Northern Rhone for twice the price. Packed with pork belly, roasted fennel, old leather and pipe tobacco this is full of gamey spice. If you’d like to enjoy this now it will give you plenty of enjoyment with a vigorous decanting, but aging this for 8-12 years will not be an issue if you want something a bit more refined.

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- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.