2011 Villa Creek "Bassetti Vineyard" Paso Robles Syrah

SKU #1159557 92-94 points Vinous

 The 2011 Syrah Bassetti Vineyard is going to be a fascinating wine to follow next to the superb 2010 as both develop in bottle. From a much cooler vintage, the 2011 is distinctly savory, floral and delineated, with perhaps a little more energy than the 2010. At the same time, the 2011 is going to need at least a few years in barrel to absorb the 50% new barrels proprietor Cris Cherry used in this vintage. Rosemary, rose petals and sage linger on the impeccable finish. I tasted a wide range of new and upcoming releases with proprietor Cris Cherry. The Villa Creek wines have always been delicious, but over the last few years, Cherry has begun moving his wines in a direction that reflects more maturity. A gradual move to larger barrels, less new oak, greater use of stems and the introduction of concrete are all choices that continue to inform these fabulous wines.  (7/2013)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (made with 50% whole clusters and 13.5% alcohol, which is unusually low for a Villa Creek wine): Bright purple. Highly perfumed aromas of cherry and blueberry liqueur, with smoky Indian spice and potpourri notes adding complexity. Powerful but lively black and blue fruit flavors show excellent depth, clarity and palate-staining intensity. The vibrant, youthfully tannic finishfinish clings with outstanding tenacity and repeats the spice and floral notes.  (12/2013)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Coming from the Bassetti Vineyard that’s located on the western edge of Paso Robles, in San Luis Obispo County and in a cooler, wetter terroir, the 2011 Syrah Bassetti Vineyard shows the wild, gamey and slightly herbal side to the variety. Offering up perfumed, floralfloral and peppery aromas with plenty of plum, olive and smoke rounding out the bouquet, it hits the palate with a medium-bodied profile that carries serious richness and extract, with an overall supple, pure texture. Count me a fan and it should evolve gracefully through 2021 or beyond. Drink 2015-2021. One of my favorite estates, Cris Cherry’s Villa Creek is located on the western side of Paso Robles, high up off Peachy Canyon Road. He continues to experiment with Rhone and increasingly Spanish (think Rioja and Priorat) varieties, as well as with varying amount of whole-cluster inclusion. The wines offeroffer singular, unique profiles, with loads of flavor and character.  (8/2013)

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Price: $49.99

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Staff Image By: Jason Marwedel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/7/2014 | Send Email
Looking for something to get that special “wine geek” in your life? Look no further! The 2011 Villa Creek Bassetti Syrah is not your proto-typical Paso Robles Syrah. Highly aromatic, it really displays the savory side of Syrah. Notes of dark fruit, herbs, smoke rose and exotic spice. Like all the Villa Creek wines, it carries great weight but does so in a balanced, polished and precise way.

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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.
Specific Appellation:

Paso Robles

- Located about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, this inland AVA enjoys a sunny and hot growing period while its seaside neighbors hang in the fog. Zinfandel is the traditional red grape of choice, though cabernet, chardonnay, and Rhône varietals are gaining favor. Most are made in a fruit-forward, early drinking style.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.5