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K&L Staff Recommendations
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I always love the two blockbuster Syrahs from this estate, both of which need to be sought out by readers. Tons of black olive, smoked and salted meats, as well as ripe dark fruits all emerge from the incredibly polished, elegant and layered 2014 Syrah Estate, which is just an off the hook value. Inky colored, layered, yet graceful and light on its feet, with gorgeous fruit, drink this beauty over the coming 4-5 years, although I wouldn't be surprised to see it evolve for longer. (JD)" (7/2016)
92 points Rhone Report: "The 2008 Martinelli Syrah Hop Camp Vineyard "Gravel Lens" (Grave lens refers to the rare soil characteristic of alluvial soil layers interleaved with layers of gravel) is a big, beautifully fruited Syrah that possess touches of northern Rhone like qualities mainly on the nose. Blackberry, cracked pepper, mineral, and hints of chocolate all emerge, and this fleshes out over the evening and gains floral and violets characteristics, as well as notable complexity and a layered profile. This full-bodied, beautifully textured Syrah has an overall seamless feel ...Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Showing incredible depth for such an affordable wine, Andrew Murray does it again with this widely available bottling. The gamy nose shows lamb, rosemary, uncracked peppercorns, light tobacco leaf, soy sauce and a touch of tar. Purple flowers rule the palate, with lavender, violet and blossoming rosemary notes, with thyme and white pepper spicing up boysenberry fruit. (MK)" (7/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Syrah Tous les Jours is a total charmer and checks in as 100% Syrah from a bevy of Santa Ynez vineyards (all are within five miles of the winery). No ...Read More »
95 points Wine Spectator: "Bold, polished and impeccably structured, with black raspberry and smoky mocha aromas and rich, complex flavors of blueberry, spiced cinnamon and licorice. Tannins ease in and frame the finish. Drink now through 2029" (11/2016) K&L Notes: Randy and Debbie Lewis established their small family winery in Napa back in 1992. Lewis Cellars makes some of K&L's favorite Napa wines--they're always delicious, polished and fundamentally drinkable. The 2014 vintage of their Syrah has not yet been professionally rated, but past vintages consistently score well into the 90s.
92 points Vinous: "The 2013 Syrah Estate offers up the typical Stolpman Syrah palette of dark flavors, but with a bit more cut and overall energy from the greater diurnal shifts that characterized the growing season. Graphite, smoke, black cherry, plum and menthol are all pushed forward in this tasty, richly textured Syrah from Stolpman. (AG)" (9/2016) 91 points Connoisseurs Guide: "*Two Stars and a Good Value* Once again a Syrah that tempers its ripeness and very deep and precise fruit with a careful winemaking hand, Stolpman's Estate Grown version is a rich and well-polished wine whose potency is matche ...Read More »
Vinous: "The 2013 Syrah is another pretty, plummy, entry-level wine with lovely fruit to match its mid-weight personality. Drink the 2013 over the next year or two, while the flavors remain bright and focused. The Syrah is the only Cep wine that is made 100% from Peay estate fruit. (AG)" (1/2016)
Inventory: San Francisco
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* A bold but well-behaved wine, this is spicy and meaty in aroma, generously layered with flavors of black plums, blackberries and incredibly velvety tannins. The way that the core of delicious fruit is shrouded in thick but soft tannins and threaded with acidity is a marvel. It's tempting to drink now but lay it down until 2018 if possible. (JG)" (11/2015) Wine Spectator: "Solidly built, if still quite tannic, with jammy black raspberry and pepper aromas and dense flavors of plum, loam and herb. Best after 2016. 4,975 cases made. (TF, Web-2015)"
94 points Wine Spectator: "Plush, rich and impeccably structured, with floral blueberry and raspberry aromas accented by smoked pepper and complex, expressive flavors that combine mineral-tinged tannins with plump fruit. Best from 2018 through 2030." (9/2016) 91 points Connoisseurs Guide: "*Two Stars* Insistently and very confidently fixed on lightly spicy, ripe berry fruit and doing a deft balancing act between refinement and richness that allows a good deal of both, this very well-structured wine may be a bit constrained by its youth, yet it shows plenty of substance and depth. It is sustained in its keen varie ...Read More »
90 points Vinous: "The 2013 Syrah Tous Ensemble is fabulous. Inky dark blue/purplish fruit, smoke, licorice, grilled herbs jump from the glass. A dollop of whole clusters adds gorgeous aromatic/savory overtones. Drink this juicy, lifted Syrah over the next few years. This is a terrific showing from Copain, not to mention a tremendous value. (AG)" (1/2015) Wine Spectator: "Offers lively acidity and a tight focus, with accents of cherry and cranberry plus spice and herb. Crushed stone notes underscore the dry tannins. (TF)" (3/2016)
94 points Wine Spectator: "Broad and open-textured, offering juicy, pear-accented blackberry, licorice and black tea flavors, finishing harmoniously and with pinpoint focus. Has presence and depth without great weight. Best from 2017 through 2023." (9/2016) 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A wine that just screams "The Rocks" is the 2013 Syrah River Rock Vineyard and it is about as classic a representation of this terrific terroir located around the town of Milton Freewater as I could imagine. Medium to full-bodied, fresh, focused and with fine, polished tannin, it has tons of pepper, bloody meats, olive and ripe d ...Read More »
Antonio Galloni writes: "Stolpman is one of the larger estates in the Santa Ynez Valley. The property spans 220 total acres, 150 of which are under vine. This is a solid set of wines, with a number of highlights."
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "What's becoming the flagship Syrah for the estate, the 2013 Syrah Originals Estate comes from the original planting of the estate from 1992. It offers more texture, depth, richness and elegance over the Estate Syrah and possesses beautiful notes of creme de cassis, barbecue smoke, crushed pepper and violets. Medium to full-bodied, ripe and textured, yet always pure and balanced, it will have a decade of longevity. (JD)" (6/2015) 92 points Vinous: "The 2013 Syrah Originals is developing into a highly appealing wine. Time in bottle has brought out a level of refinement the 201 ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "The historic winery's most widely accessible bottling, this is a solid everyday sipper, showing concentrated olallieberry, black plum, violet and teriyaki aromas. The palate discloses blackberry and mint, with touches of pepper and lavender. (MK)" (10/2016)
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Syrah Holus Bolus (I don’t think these names could be more confusing) is a blend of 100% Syrah that spent 14 months in 1- to 3-year-old barrels. It’s a seriously impressive effort that possesses an inky purple color to go with loads of chocolatey dark fruit, scorched earth and sweet oak-like aromas and flavors. Medium to full-bodied, voluptuously textured and a bona fide fruit bomb, it nevertheless has beautiful purity, integrated acidity and a clean, focused finish. It’s a high-class crowd-pleaser... (JD)" (8/2014) K&L Notes: The 2012 Holus Bolus Syrah is s... Read More »
Wine Spectator: "Fresh and supple, with a beet salad edge to the berry and lime flavors, finishing light and persistent. (HS)" (12/2015)
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 1,080 case 2013 Syrah Patrina, which is the entry level Syrah, sees a higher temperature during fermentation and roughly 20 days on skins, with periodic punch downs. Aged 22 months in two-thirds new French oak, it trumps most estates grand vin. Showing the forward, plush, sweetly fruited style of all of the 2013s here, with notes of smoked meats, violets, caramelized black cherries and cassis, with its oak component pushed all the way into the background, drink this full-bodied, pure, seamless Syrah through 2023. After the cool, and then cold, 2010 ...Read More »
Qupé owner Bob Lindquist has been working in the Central Coast vineyards since 1975, while the winemaking trade in the area was still in its infancy. He worked for Jim Clendenen (who would later found Au Bon Climat) at Zaca Mesa Winery and founded Qupé in 1982. From the winery: "This full bodied red is made from grapes sourced from cool and warm climate vineyards. The cool climate components bring spice, freshness, acidity and lower alcohol, and warm climate components provide the deep, forward fruit. Because the wine is nicely balanced it is very enjoya... Read More »
Jeb Dunnuck of eRobertParker.com writes: "Gianni Abate makes these latest releases from Morgan Winery. They all have well-made, fresh and lively profiles, and in a number of cases, represent terrific values."
92 points Wine Spectator: "*Smart Buy* Firm and chewy around a glowing core of blackberry, blueberry and white pepper flavors, this medium-weight style remains focused and spicy. (HS)" (4/2016)
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A year in, year out killer wine, the 2014 Syrah Nuts and Bolts is another stunner that gives up ripe, full throttle notes of blackberries, peppered meats, game and singed leather. Big, rich, gorgeously textured and hedonistic, yet also balanced, pure and fresh, it's a quintessential Paso Robles red that delivers the goods. Drink it anytime over the coming 5-8 years. One of my favorite estates in the Central Coast is Russell From's Herman Story, who makes unapologetic rich, layered, flavor loaded wines that are a joy to drink. (JD)" (8/2016) K&L Notes: Out of Paso Ro... Read More »
I have counted on Owen Roe to produce some of the most delicious, instantly drinkable wines on the market. The partnership of winemaker David O'Reilly and vineyard manager Jerry Owen is akin to any of history's super duos. They produce an affordable Syrah that everyone can love. Originally made as a one-off due to a wildfire that resulted in tremendously smoky grapes, this has become one of the most recognizable Pacific Northwest Syrahs on the market today. The Ex-Umbris still has the trademark smoky qualities with bushels of blackberry, whole black pep... Read More »
94 points Vinous: "Dense, meaty and powerful to the core, the 2013 Syrah Hawkes Butte is a wine built on structure. The contours are a bit angular, but there is nevertheless plenty of depth, resonance and pure power. This is one of the more massive wines in the range, but there is quite a bit to admire in the wine's dark, mysterious personality. The 50% whole clusters are nearly buried by the intensity of the fruit and firm tannins that need at least a year or two to soften. I was quite taken with the wines I tasted from Copain and proprietor Wells Guthrie this year. The T ...Read More »
Nickel and Nickel has made their Syrah bottling from the Darien Vineyard since the 2002 vintage. They select fruit from a 3.75 acre parcel of this Russian River Valley terroir where morning fog gives way to warm afternoon sun. Loam soils drain well at this site and planting of two different Syrah clones inform the wine. The wine is aged for about a year and a half in French oak barrels (about half new).
Jeff Runquist banked 19 years making wine in California before opening his own winery. During that time, he developed close relationships with growers and is now able to source first-rate fruit for his own wines.
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Russell's first 100% Bien Nacido Syrah, the 2012 Syrah Bien Nacido incorporates a splash of Viognier and was brought up all in new French oak. It's a sensational Syrah from one of the best vineyards in the Central Coast and exhibits deep, voluptuous and full-bodied notes of smoked black fruits, chocolate, dried earth and big minerality. Showing more structure and breadth with time in the glass, it taste like the essence of Bien Nacido, albeit, on steroids. Give this beauty a year in the cellar and it will knock your socks off over the following 6-7 years ...Read More »
92 points Vinous: "(100% syrah): Inky purple. Spicy blackberry and licorice aromas are complicated by suggestions of smoky minerals and violet. Very syrah! Sweet red and dark berry flavors show very good depth and definition, with anise, olive and candied floral qualities building with air. The clean, persistent finish offers a zesty kick of cracked pepper, along with echoing dark berry notes. (JR)" (11/2013)
Inventory: Main Warehouse
According to Robert Parker: "One of the pioneers of world-class Rhone varietal-based wines produced in California’s Central Coast, John Alban had the courage and foresight to plant Viognier, Syrah, Grenache, and more recently, Mourvedre, in a region where no one else believed these grapes would thrive. His wines offer off-the-chart levels of concentration, and many of them are capable of lasting three to four decades. These flavor-filled wines are all made from frightfully low yields, and are now being given extremely long aging in barrel, the top Syrah ... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A rock-solid bottle of Syrah, the 2013 Syrah Hocus Pocus offers a funky, earthy bouquet of chocolate-laced dark fruits, old leather and damp earth to go with a beautifully textured, rich and fruit-forward style on the palate. As with the 2012, it’s a prime candidate for drinking over the coming couple of years. (JD)" (8/2014) K&L Notes: The ninth vintage and one that the winemaker calls his favorite yet. A blend of cooler (Watch Hill Vineyard in Los Alamos) and warmer vineyard (sustainably farmed Harrison-Clarke Vineyard) fruit.
Wine & Spirits: "From a collection of vineyards in Anderson Valley’s cool Deep End, this is tight at first, with flinty earth tones and tart chokecherry acidity, the oak feeling a bit raw. With air, the fruit gains some suppleness, and it may turn out to be a layered, complex wine with some additional time in bottle." (4/2016) K&L Notes: Praise from Wine Advocate: "Paul Gordon and winemaker Scott Shapley (who also makes the wines for Roar in the Santa Lucia Highlands) continue to make superb, Northern Rhone-inspired wines from the Mendocino and Yorkville Highlands regions of Californ... Read More »
92 points Connoisseurs Guide: "Led in the nose by a well-measured mix of mildly gamy spice, juicy, optimally ripe berries and fancy oak, this nicely composed Syrah is polished and pure in its fruit but never lacks for varietal authority. Its deep and very well-focused flavors tend to tighten after a deceptively open start, yet any limits that the wine seems to have are entirely the result of its youth, and there is no doubt at all about its long-term potential. We urge that it be set aside for no fewer than five years and anticipate continuing growth for another five or more after tha ...Read More »
Producer Note: "Food friendly syrah from vineyards across the Pacific Northwest, 80 % whole cluster fermentation with aging in older neutral French oak barrels and puncheons for 11 months on the lees. Our Garde Manger is a blend of each vineyard we source syrah from in each vintage. Bottled unfined with minimal so2 addition."
Winemaker Kent Humphrey is a former advertising copywriter who's now a mad man of wine, making Syrah, Pinot and Chardonnay deep in the Copain Custom Crush facility in a nondescript industrial area of Sonoma County. But there's artistry in the bottle, as well as on the bottle: each new release is labeled with a unique, commissioned painting. The 2013 RRV Syrah displays the work of photographer Robert Stewart. The winery's vintage note: "Encouraged by the keen response to last year’s Barrel Climber Syrah, we’ve decided to add a Russian River Valley Syrah t... Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Syrah Haley’s (15.6% natural alcohol) exhibits copious aromas of blueberries, black raspberries and blackberries, sweet tannin, a full-bodied opulence and a style not dissimilar from the Buffalo Hill Syrah. Drink it over the next decade. Jeff Cohn makes a dizzying array of wines, all of which have enormous appeal and character. Sadly, he still does not own any vineyards, but he manages to source fruit from some of the most interesting sites in California, and when they are not mono-cépage wines, he assembles fascinating blends. Cohn is definitel ...Read More »
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Slightly more fruit driven than the meaty, peppery John Lewis release, the 2013 Syrah Lagniappe is a drop dead gorgeous Syrah that does everything right. Its almost opaque purple color is followed by a complex, layered bouquet that includes ample black and blue fruits, ground pepper, lavender, olive and hints of bacon fat. This gives way to a medium to full-bodied, layered, silky 2013 that has a great mid-palate, juicy acidity and a great finish. I’d happily drink it today, but it should be at its best from 2018-2028. (JD)" (6/2016) 91 points Vinous: "(vinified with 85% whol ...Read More »
89-91 points Vinous: "The 2014 Syrah (Sonoma Coast) is dense, powerful and bursting at the seams with explosive energy. Dried flowers, tobacco, mint, dried cherries, smoke and licorice are all given an extra kick of intensity from the early-ripening vintage. It's hard to know where to begin with these wines from David Ramey, as there are so many highlights, but one common theme is the quality of the entry-level wines. The appellation-level Chardonnays, Pinot, Syrah and Claret all deliver serious quality for the money. As always, the Chardonnays are made in a rich, Burgundian- ...Read More »
93 points Wine Spectator: "Bold blueberry and smoky meat aromas lead to complex, expressive flavors of dark plum, crushed stone and licorice that linger toward big but ripe tannins. (TF)" (12/2016) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Another outstanding wine from this team, the 2012 Syrah Rodgers Creek was fermented with 30% whole clusters and aged in 25% new French oak. It has a Northern Rhone-like feel in its peppery, olive, bacon fat and dark fruit-scented bouquet. This gives way to a medium-bodied, supple, textured red that has solid mid-palate concentration and a great finish. (RP)" (8/2015)
Duncan Arnot Meyers and Nathan Roberts were named "Winemakers of the Year" in 2012 by the San Francisco Chronicle, and the duo has been going from success to success vintage after vintage. Antonio Galloni, writing for the Wine Advocate, called Arnot-Roberts "one of the most exciting young wineries in California, or anywhere for that matter." Their Syrahs come from cooler vineyards, and this entry-level version has the tension, pepperiness and vibrant dark fruit you would expect.
96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Intrepid is 100% Syrah and was raised 20 months in 60% new barrels. It sports a deep ruby color to go with savory, mineral and smoky notes of wild herbs, toasted spice, chocolate and ample dark fruits. It carries its 15.5% alcohol beautifully and is full-bodied, deep, rich and layered, with an awesome texture. These latest releases from Law Estate Wines, which are made by the incredibly talented Scott Hawley, are jaw dropping good, and easily the greatest wines to come from this new estate. The future looks very bright indeed. (JD)" (7/2016) 94 points Vinous: "Dark ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* This wine is a blend of four distinctive sites-Minick and Olsen in the Yakima Valley, and SJR and Stoney Vine in the Walla Walla Valley. It pulls together the best of all of them, with brooding notes of mineral, wet stone, earthy funk, coffee, smoked meat and black and green olive. The palate steals the show, with hypnotic savory flavors that coalesce around a vibrant, extended finish. It’s a textural marvel that is simply impossible to put down." (7/2015) 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Columbia Valley Syrah offers lots of smoked herbs, olive tapenade, smoked ...Read More »
93 points Vinous: "The 2012 Syrah Frei Road Vineyard is the ripest and most exuberant of the three Dehlinger Syrahs. The flavors are dark and intense to the core. Tar, smoke, licorice and black fruit flow through to the huge, voluptuous finish. Stylistically, the Frei Road is quite different from the other Syrahs in the range, much of which can be attributed to the farming, which is done by the Martinelli family. After 2014, Dehlinger discontinued the Frei Road, which does seem to make sense, as the wine is a bit of an outlier in this range, despite its obvious beauty. Whe ...Read More »
90-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Aromas of black fruits, tapenade, ground pepper, and spice box emerge from the 2005 Syrah Russian River. There is some herbaceousness underneath the fruit, but the wine is full-bodied, rich, complex, and comes across like a Crozes-Hermitage on steroids... As I said last year, DuMol is one of my favorite wineries, primarily because of the passion and commitment to quality of owner Kerry Murphy and his winemaker, Andy Smith. (RP)" (12/2006) 91 points Wine Spectator: "Lots of spice, pepper, fresh earth and new leather scents join ripe blueberry and blackberry flavors. Taut, focused and ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
92-94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Tasted out of barrel, the 2013 The Unnamed Syrah, which also incorporates 10% Grenache Blanc, has a Pinot Noir vibe in its rose petal, forest floor, kirsch, blackberry and dried herb-laced bouquet. Medium to full-bodied, elegant and seamless, I've liked past vintages slightly more, but this is still a pretty, elegant Syrah to drink over the coming 8-10 years. Both 2012 and 2013 are great vintage for Matt Reynvaan, and this estate continues to produce thrillingly perfumed, complex and layered wines that compete with the best wines in Washington. They con ...Read More »
91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright, deep red-ruby. Pure, deep aromas of blackberry, violet, bitter chocolate, smoke and rock. Then concentrated but reticent on the palate, showing serious density and subtle sweetness to the fine-grained flavors of dark berries, spices and bitter chocolate. Most expressive today on the long, ripe, tongue-dustingly tannic finish, where flavors of dark raspberry, blackberry, licorice and spices mount slowly and linger long. This youthfully unevolved Syrah should gain in complexity but it’s already a lot of wine for the price. (ST)" (12/2014)
Wine Enthusiast: "Cofermented with 10% Viognier, this is a sweet jammy style of Syrah, which tastes as if it has retained a bit of residual sugar. Along with the flavors of berry jam are other components-chalk, cola and toasted peanuts. Drink now and over the next couple of years." (12/2016) K&L Notes: A self-proclaimed "loving partnership of wine industry slaves," Lauren Eisold and Adam Smith are devoted to making classic and sensual Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (and Syrah!) from the Willamette Valley. Their 2014 Syrah is sourced from Eastern Oregon, Southern Oregon and the Willamette V... Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A year in, year out killer value, Jaffurs' 2013 Syrah checks in as 84% Syrah, 9% Petite Sirah, 4% Mourvedre and a splash of Grenache that was completely destemmed and aged 10 months in neutral oak. It's gives up tons of classic Cali Syrah notes of brambly blackberries, plums, licorice, violets and pepper herbs to go with a medium to full-bodied, plump, pure and straight-up delicious style on the palate. California (and Syrah) needs to have more of these fabulous wines at these prices. Buy this by the case and enjoy bottles over the coming 4-5 years. (JD) ...Read More »
96-98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Always the most exotic in the lineup, the meaty, iron, black olive and floral-scented 2014 Syrah en Chamberlin Vineyard has a big core of ripe tannin and sweet fruit in its full-bodied, exuberant style. Given the polish to its tannin, it should drink nicely in its youth, but I suspect it will be at its best from 2020-2034. Looking at these latest releases from Cayuse, the 2013s are surprisingly elegant and silky, with less overall concentration and depth than I expected after tasting them from barrel last year. They possess slightly lighter, translucent ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Mostly from the Les Collines Vineyard in Walla Walla, the 2013 Syrah The Deuce is a fabulous, downright sexy 2013 that’s loaded with gamy, lavender, dried violets, and peppery aromas and flavors. Giving up lots of dark fruits, full-bodied richness, sweet tannin and a graceful, never heavy texture, it shows the vintage's more charming, approachable style, yet I’m sure this beauty will cruise for a decade in the cellar. (JD)" (6/2016) 93 points Wine Enthusiast: "The herb, violet, red fruit and mineral aromas start out light, with earth, smoked meat and black pepper notes lurking in the ...Read More »
94 points Vinous: "The 2012 Syrah White Hawk Vineyard is quite distinctive in this vintage. Just starting to show a bit of aromatic complexity, the 2012 offers striking nuance. Tobacco, licorice, earthiness and grilled herbs wrap around a core of dark fruit in this intriguing, beautifully layered Syrah. The 2012 is an excellent choice for drinking now and over the next handful of years. This is the most expressive of the three 2012 Syrahs I tasted. (AG)" (9/2016) 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "More rounded, supple and open knit than the darker-colored 2011, the 2012 Syrah White Hawk Vineyard offers fruit- ...Read More »