2010 Ramey Sonoma Coast Syrah

SKU #1138032 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Blackberries, smoke, tar, game and incense emerge from the inky-hued 2010 Syrah. The 2010 has more varietal character and complexity than the 2009. All the best elements of the house style come together in this huge, structured Syrah. I only hope I have the chance to taste the 2010 with some bottle age, as it appears to have a very bright future. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2030.  (4/2013)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Inky purple. Pungent dark berries, olive and smoky herbs on the nose and in the mouth. Weighty and palate-coating, with slow-mounting tannins and a late jolt of cracked pepper on the clinging finish. I also had a chance to re-taste the 2009 version of this wine; it's showing intense, textbook syrah character right now, with vibrant dark berry character and pronounced spiciness. There's a Rhone-like quality to it that I find quite interesting and while it's drinkable now, it's also balanced to age slowly.  (5/2013)

K&L Notes

Ramey's 2010 Sonoma Coast Syrah is sourced from three fine vineyards in diverse parts of the appelation. The majority of the fruit comes from the Shanel Vineyard (78%) which is on the warm, eastern side of Sonoma Mountain near the limit of the appelation. A portion from Rogers Creek typifies a savory, cool climate character. The Syrah grapes (including 25% whole clusters) were co-fermented with 5% Viognier. The wine then aged in 50% new French oak barrels for more than two years before bottling.

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Varietal:

Shiraz/Syrah

- 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.
Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

California

- 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:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).
Alcohol Content (%): 14.5