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K&L Staff Recommendations
96 points Decanter: "For me, the best edition of this well-crafted Shiraz. The nose is ripe and mellow, with layers of rich blackberry and plum. There's a wealth of spice and soulful, earthy depth and a smoky tarry edge too. The palate is smoothly honed, with a dense mid-palate that offers bright blackberry and plum flavors. Deceptively study tannins carry hauntingly throughout and merit considerable cellaring if you can manage to keep your hands off it! Drink 2018-2030." (6/2014)94 points James Halliday: "Warm at heart but with its eyes firmly set on savouriness. Sweet plum and vanilla meet notes of s ...Read More »
95 points Bob Campbell: "Elegant fine-boned Syrah with berry, plum, mineral and anise flavours. There's also a seasoning of cracked black pepper and a suggestion of floral influence. Taut, tight and powerful wine with good cellaring potential." (1/2013) 92-93 points Raymond Chan: "A barrel selection wine. MS clone Syrah, hand-picked and fermented with 5% whole bunch to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 18 months in 25% new oak, then aged a further 6 months with a greater percentage of new oak. Full, deep, purple-hued ruby-red colour, youthful in appearance. This has a very elegant, refined and tightly bound nose wit ...Read More »
90 points James Halliday: "Pepper-laden shiraz. Meaty, mid-weight style. Cherry-flavoured fruit. Has enough interest, flavour and form to satisfy. Chewy finish. Toasty/spicy oak tops it off nicely." (2/2014)
95 points James Halliday: "This comes from two vineyards at Blewitt Springs and Willunga, 30-80yo; matured 30% new French and 70% used French and Russian oak for 2 years, plus 6 months' bottle age. Powerful and focused, immaculate balance and length engendering elegance with its mix of black cherry, licorice and spice flavours. Delicious wine. 300 dozen made." (12/2014) K&L Notes: Winemaker's Notes: "Deep crimson red in colour. Vibrant aromas of mulberry and black cherry accompanied by mocha, roasted spice and subtle forest floor notes. Plush and softly textured on the palate with rich black f... Read More »
Praise for the last vintage of this wine from Antonio Galloni: "A rich, boisterous wine, the 2013 Syrah Tous Les Jours is all about fruit and texture. Dark red cherry, plum, black pepper and spice notes are all pushed forward in a Syrah that captures the generous personality of the wines of Santa Ynez. The style is bold and intense, with considerable up-front fruit and terrific overall balance. Once again, the Tous Les Jours delivers superb quality and value." (06/2015)
Arguably the most popular of the co-branded wines with our staff last year was the 2010 version of this wine so it had a lot to live up to this year. The good news is the staff is every bit as excited about it this year and we hope that enthusiasm will rub off on you. Bob Lindquist was more than happy to work with us again this year and put together this 100% Syrah bottling from certified Demeter Bio-Dynamically grown vines in the cool Edna Valley Appellation. Unmistakably Syrah from the first sniff of the nose the bold cracked black pepper, fried bacon,... Read More »
90 points Antonio Galloni: "Dark ruby. Textbook syrah aromas of dark berries, olive, pipe tobacco and violet, with a peppery overtone and a hint of allspice. Fleshy and broad, offering gently sweet black and blue fruit flavors and supple texture. Picks up a note of bitter chocolate with air and finishes smoky and long, with easygoing tannins adding grip. (JR)" (2/2015)
97 points Raymond Chan: "Very dark, deep, black-hued ruby-red colour with youthful purple hues. The nose is rich and aromatic unfolding ethereal waves of ripe dark red and black berry fruits lifted with floral perfumes and exotic spice notes. Layers of pepper, earth and toasty oak add complexity. The nose is harmoniously interwoven and complete in presentation. Medium-bodied and elegant, rich, succulently juicy fruit flavours of dark red and black berried fruit are lifted by violet and red florals, and melded with black pepper, spices and oak. The palate is supple and plush with ...Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Cornas Confidence is a smoking Cornas that does everything right! Deep, rich, concentrated and full-bodied, it offers up terrific notes of blackcurrants, black raspberry, smoked earth, licorice and caramelized meats. Nicely structure, with notable, yet sweet tannin, and moderate acidity, give it 2-3 years and drink it through 2027. It’s serious stuff and don’t miss grabbing a couple bottles. (JD)" (12/2014)92 points Wine Spectator: "Alluring notes of plum sauce and boysenberry pâte de fruit are inlaid with hints of violet, anise and fruitcake. A modern style, with a tug of ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
95 points Bob Campbell: "Deeply tinted, full-flavoured Syrah with appealing sweet plum, blackberry, raspberry and cracked pepper flavours. Nicely structured to allow drinkability now but also let the wine age well. Delicious wine with a bright future." (4/2015)94 points Sam Kim: "This is hugely promising. The wine exhibits outstanding fruit purity with elegant complexity - black plum, blueberry, smoke and cedar. It's concentrated and refined on the palate showing gorgeous fruit weight and velvety texture, and finishes superbly long and smooth. Supple tannins provide excellent structure and length. A ...Read More »
A perennial value-based favorite, Ravenswood's Vintners Blend Shiraz packs big punches full of mulberry, dark chocolate and roasted meats. Made by one of California's iconic producers.
94 points James Halliday: "*Special Value Selection* Deep crimson; it has a rich and vibrant bouquet of black fruits, spice and pepper; the 12 months it spent in oak also makes its presence felt, joining with the tannins on the medium-bodied palate to provide excellent texture and structure." (3/2014) K&L Notes: Winemaker's Notes: "This wine has great richness of flavour, aromas of spicy cherry and plum and a soft fruit-driven palate delivering dark berries, liquorice and subtle tannins. The wine is approachable but will continue to develop and improve with cellaring. We source a single viney... Read More »
Willowbrook is a largely under-the-radar label from Joe Otos, winemaker at Owl Ridge Wines in Sebastopol. We've got some great Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from choice vineyards from Willowbrook in the past, and now this Syrah. It comes from the Altes Vineyard, located in the Rincon Valley area in the middle of Sonoma County--not far from the hot Kick Ranch vineyard.
90 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2012 Syrah Estate is gorgeous. Dark, red and plummy, the 2012 impresses for the purity of its fruit and radiance. Peay does not have a mid-tier Sonoma Coast bottling, so all the fruit that does not go into the two single-vineyard Syrahs goes into this tasty, entry-level bottling. Sweet floral notes grace the silky finish. Peay does an excellent job with Cep, their sister label of budget-friendly wines. All of these current releases are tasty. The Syrah is the standout, as it is made up of declassified barrels of the two Peay vineyard designate, Syra ...Read More »
90 points Sam Kim: "It's a treat to see a rose made from Syrah, and this is a goodie. The lifted bouquet shows red cherry, floral and peach characters, leading to a juicy and refreshing palate. The wine shows excellent fruit richness and texture, finishing generous and flavoursome. At its best: now to 2016." (10/2014)
91 points Wine & Spirits: "Bob Lindquist blends fruit from cool climates like the Santa Maria and Edna valleys with warmer-climate fruit from Paso Robles for this bottling. The 2012 is pretty great, especially considering the price, offering the full range of syrah fruit, from smoky depths to clean blue fruit to lifted floral and peppercorn aromas. It’s lively and gripping, for smoked pork." (10/2014)90 points Antonio Galloni: "Inky purple. Highly perfumed aromas of dark fruit liqueur, potpourri and incense, with a peppery spice quality emerging with air. Juicy blackberry and blueberry flavors are complicate ...Read More »
92 points James Halliday: "*Special Value Selection* Strong crimson-purple; has a complex interplay on its bouquet and palate between the fragrant plum and mulberry fruit on the one hand, and a savory/chocolatey fruitcake McLaren Vale imprint on the other. Will have great appeal to biodynamic acolytes."91 points Wine Spectator: "Fresh and vibrant, this full-bodied style offers juicy currant and blackberry flavors at the center, floating through the harmonious finish. Drink now through 2020." (8/2014)90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Medium to deep garnet/purple, the 2012 Shiraz opens to warm blackberries and black cherries, pepper, baking spi ...Read More »
94 points James Halliday: "*Special Value Selection* Deep crimson-purple; makes light of its alcohol, for while it is profoundly varietal and regional, it is light on its feet, and the chocolate-wrapped black fruits break free with airily juicy, yet spicy and savoury, flavours on the finish." (7/2014) K&L Notes: Winemaker's Notes: "The 2012 Shiraz shows a deep vibrant cerise colour with some youthful purple hues. Mint and spice aromatics belie the full but velvety smooth, lingering palate. Soft, yet powerful tannins offer the promise of a long lasting Shiraz evolving into secondary flavours wi... Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Looking at the 2012 Cornas releases, the 2012 Cornas les Chailles (100% Syrah from the Les Chailles lieu-dit, aged in 2- to 5-year-old white-wine barrels) is stunning stuff that could rival the 2010 and 2011 in another couple of years. Offering up terrific cassis, black raspberry, crushed rock and licorice aromas and flavors, it's medium to full-bodied, layered and seamless, with awesome purity. Already hard to resist, this puppy will evolve gracefully for upward of a decade. (JD)" (12/2014)93 points Wine Spectator: "Shows lovely drive and energy from the start, with anise, plum, v ...Read More »
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) 91-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Moving to the 2012’s, and the first vintage for the cuvee, the 2012 Syrah Columbia ...Read More »
97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Deep garnet-purple, the 2010 Cluster M45 Shiraz has lovely floral and herbal notes wafting over a solid core of youthful blackberries and black cherries with nuances of Chinese five spice and cloves. Great intensity and balance in a rather modest medium-full body with great graininess to the tannins and plenty of freshness. It finishes long. Note that no 2011 Cluster M45 was produced. (LPB)" (2/2015)95 points James Halliday: "Medium red-purple; while I remain to be convinced the baume (and hence alcohol) level was necessary, it is fair to say that the wine carries it without undue ...Read More »
96 points James Halliday: "The grapes were grown on Barossa Valley terra rossa: oxidised iron red soils over limestone, and the wine was matured in used French oak. The vivid colour of the wine attests to its moderate alcohol, as does the joyful display of red and black fruits; the tannins are supple, the oak subtle but evident. Fantastic value."
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Coming from one of Ballard Canyon’s premiere vineyards, this offers aromas of black cherry, wet black loam and morning dew on sage. The mouthfeel is all silk, and flavors are savory, with elderberries, crushed sage and wild mint." (2/2015)92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(made with 50% whole clusters and raised in concrete tanks): Opaque ruby. Deeply pitched black and blue fruit aromas are lifted and sharpened by cracked pepper and fresh flowers. Spicy and penetrating on the palate, with juicy blackcurrant and boysenberry flavors framed and lifted by tangy acidity. This suave, powerful, ...Read More »
92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright purple. Youthfully wound-up aromas of blackberry, mulberry and violet, plus a strong note of licorice. Deeply pitched dark fruit flavors are given an exotic character by notes of violet pastille and star anise. Supple and expansive on the firm, gripping, intensely spicy finish. This textbook syrah should age well. (ST)" (5/2011) Antonio Galloni: "The 2009 Syrah Estate Vineyard shows the wilder side of the grape in its red cherries, black pepper, spices and herbs. Medium in body, it possesses good balance and energy through to the finish. (AG)" (8/2011) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Syrah E ...Read More »
92 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2013 Syrah North Coast is another fabulous, budget-friendly wine. Supple and silky on the palate, with exceptional overall balance, the 2013 delivers remarkable complexity and nuance for the money. Dark red stone fruits, smoke, tobacco, incense and orange peel are laced into the super-expressive finish. The 2013 is a blend of fruit from Hudson. Weill and Kick Ranch, done with 60% whole clusters and drops of Viognier. It's always a treat to see what Morgan Twain Peterson and his colleague Chris Cottrell are up to at Bedrock, where the focus is on sho ...Read More »
From the winery: "Hints of black pepper and other spice on the nose, complemented by scents of flowers and plums. Bright fruit is carried by the fresh acidity and integrated tannins. Elegant with great length. Pairs fantastically with red meat, especially lamb or sirloin steak, flavoured with Southern French herbs (rosemary, thyme) or hearty casseroles."
92 points Wine & Spirits: "This muscular red comes from dry-farmed vineyards, the carignan 60 years old, the syrah in the blend from younger vines. It’s monumental in size, with rustic tannins and acidity that accentuates the ripe black fruit and spice. Give this five years or more to come into balance and build complexity." (2/2015) K&L Notes: Bodegas Re (pronounced "Ray") is a small, family owned bodega located right in the town of Casablanca, in the heart of the Casablanca Valley. Pablo Morandé Debordes is definitely producing some of the most adventurous, interesting and delicious wines in... Read More »
90 points Decanter: "Complex, savoury, herbal, meaty and aromatic. Palate follows with smoky, fireplace embers and vibrant, fresh red cherry fruits. Graceful yet firm tannins frame the fruit beautifully. 17.5/20 (90+)" (12/2014) K&L Notes: Thinus Krüger, CEO / President / Winemaker / Grape crusher / Sole employee of FRAM, brings us these remarkable "wines of exploration." I recently tasted these with Pascal Schildt, the small, specialist South African importer who brings us these wines, and I was truly blown away by the quality, purity, depth and VALUE of the entire range! This juicy, d... Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Another blockbuster is the 2013 Syrah Verna's, which comes from a vineyard located north of the Sta. Rita Hills, near Los Alamos. It was 70% destemmed and aged 10 months in neutral oak. It reveals terrific notes of cassis, peppered meats, blackberries, licorice and wood smoke to go with a full-bodied, ripe, yet beautifully balanced and layered feel on the palate. Given all the Syrahs and Pinot Noirs from Santa Barbara going for three times the price, the quality here is remarkable. In short, it's a no-brainer that will drink nicely for at least another 4 ...Read More »
91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Opaque ruby. Vibrant dark berry, olive and floral scents are complemented by notes of cracked pepper and smoky Indian spices. Very syrah, offering sweet blackberry, violet pastille and fruitcake flavors braced by juicy acidity. Shows very good clarity and energy on the finish, which features silky tannins and a late note of candied flowers. This is a superb value in elegant California Syrah." (12/2013) K&L Notes: Joey Tensley commented, "This vintage we've done a little something different with the Santa Barbara County blend by bringing the cool climate Mormann V... Read More »
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "More classic, focused and edgy, the 2012 Cornas Empreintes has bright acidity in its medium to full-bodied flavors of smoked herbs, beef blood, licorice and assorted dark fruits. The largest production cuvee, give it 2-3 years and drink it through 2022. Another brilliantly run estate in the Northern Rhône, Eric and Joel Durand have made rich, concentrated and textured 2012s that show the vintage nicely. These should drink nicely on release yet evolve gracefully. Their 2013s follow suit, with their top cuvee, the Cornas Confidence, being the only wine th ...Read More »
Quarter Acre is a small project from highly acclaimed winemaker Rod Mcdonald. This tiny range of wines represent small productions for tiny vineyard parcels (hence Quarter Acre) from sites that he thinks have a unique expression of terroir. These are his most "edgy" wines that push the boundaries of non-interventionist winemaking in pursuit of purity and authenticity of place. This Syrah comes off a pure river gravels parcel on Mere Rd in the heart of the on the Gimblett Gravels. Vines are very low yielding giving power and concentration. All fruit is ha... Read More »
According to the winery: "From a black grape that makes red wine, the 6th Sense remains a huge player in the Michael David lineup. Super-saturated, big and juicy, it makes a bright, tangy impact. Full of flavor in the same deep-red tones as the aromas, tannins are tame. The mid-palate offers plum and blackberry, with a touch of mulberry."
91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(made with 40% whole clusters): Brilliant ruby. Assertive aromas of dark berry preserves, incense and Asian spices, with a suave potpourri nuance coming out with aeration. Juicy, focused blackberry and bitter cherry flavors are given lift by tangy acidity and a hint of cracked pepper. Shows excellent clarity and thrust on the finish, which clings with spicy urgency and gentle tannins." (8/2014)91 points Wine Spectator: "Fresh, expressive and light-footed, with delicate hints of sandalwood, black tea and mint layered around a lithe core of blackberry and licorice, lingering with ...Read More »
Patrina is Alban Vineyards' entry level Syrah bottling which is sourced from newer parcels of estate-grown fruit. This 2012 bottling has not yet been professionally reviewed, but the 2011 vintage garnered 93 points both from Antonio Galloni as well as Jeb Dunnuck writing for Wine Advocate.
97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2012 Eligo has a profoundly scented nose of crème de cassis, blackberry pie, licorice, dark chocolate and blueberry preserves against an earthy/meaty background of bacon fat, forest floor, beef dripping and black loam. The densely packed, full-bodied palate manages almost paradoxical elegance and restraint with velvety tannins and lively acid giving closure to the long, multilayered finish. (LPB)" (6/2015)93 points James Suckling: "Lots of ripe dark fruit, spices and hints of black pepper. Full body, round tannins and a rich, juicy, savory ...Read More »
96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A wine that stood out in my Paso Robles tasting was the 2013 Syrah Nuts and Bolts. Made from 100% Syrah that saw 16 months in 70% new French oak, it's the greatest vintage of this cuvee I've tasted and it offers off the hook notes of creme de cassis, melted licorice, caramelized meats, pepper and crushed flowers. Full-bodied, voluptuous and hedonistic, it's also seamless and balanced, with ultra-fine tannin, no hard edges and blockbuster length. As winemaker Russell From says, "It is a no holds barred expression of Syrah that chases flavor at nearly any ...Read More »
Winemaker's notes: "An aromatic bouquet of ripe fruits, cherries and blackcurrants, with notes of freshly ground coffee, dark chocolate, peppermint, liquorice and subtle pepper. Thick and smooth with good balanced fruit weight." Vineyard Sources: The Langhorne Creek fruit was harvested from two vineyards located on the Bremer River planted in rich very deep fertile river loam / silt and gravel. The Barossa grapes were harvested from two vineyards located near Nuriootpain the Light Pass and Ebenezer areas in the Barossa Valley floor.
The 2012 Holus Bolus Syrah is sourced entirely from a 5 acre Syrah planting at the edge of the Sta. Rita Hills appellation. The vines are planted at a high density of 3,000 vines per acre on a windy hilltop. The coolish, sunny and windy weather at this site give the wine lovely spice and fresh acidity. Grapes are fermented with 25% whole clusters. Aged for 15 months in two and three-year-old 350 liter barrels. 750 cases produced. Here are Robert Parker’s, The Wine Advocate, thoughts about the 2012 Holus Bolus Syrah, giving it a score of 91 points, "a se... Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "What tremendous scent! Wow -- this gives astonishing flavour for the price: meat, smoke, pepper, chocolate, coffee. Charismatic, gregarious and compelling -- wins you over by sheer force of personality. *Very Good Value* 17/20 points. Drink 2015-2025. (RH)" (2/2015)
Pinot may be the big star of Santa Barbara, especially since the movie Sideways, after which the Hitching Post and its wines have been very popular indeed. But Syrah...needs care and attention too, you know? And it can only grow--really well, anyway--in these really specific, tucked away corners of the world--like Santa Barbara County. And only the most patient and nurturing of vintners can make great wine out of it. Only somebody who really takes the time to understand Syrah's potential...can coax it into its fullest expression.
Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star* Rich and well-ripened but not going too far and no more than hinting at a bit of chocolate here and there, this generous wine keys in on ample, berry-like fruit and shows a quiet hand with regard to varietal spice. It is fleshy, full and firm, and its fruit stays the course despite toughening tannins at the end. Refinement and beauty likely lie out of its reach regardless of how long it is held, but four or five years of patience should bring it at least a little of each." (11/2014) Wine Spectator: "Racy, if rather dry and tannic, with accents of dried cherry, c ...Read More »
The Cuilleron family domaine, located in the town of Chavanay, was founded several generations ago. Yves assumed full ownership and direction in 1987 and, since that time, has built an entirely new facility while at the same time acquiring additional vineyard property. The domaine now produces about 50,000 bottles annually divided between the appellations of St. Joseph Blanc, St. Joseph Rouge, Cote Rotie and Condrieu. The Les Vignes d'à Côté Syrah is Cuilleron's entry-level Syrah, however it is far from entry-level in quality. Lovely notes of crush black... Read More »
92-95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Hermitage possesses a dense purple color as well as lots of creme de cassis, camphor and acacia flowers. Deep, rich and full-bodied, this massive blockbuster will need a decade of cellaring after its release. (RP)" (12/2013)93 points Wine Spectator: "Features a slightly roasted frame, showing espresso and bittersweet cocoa notes, with a rock-solid core of dark plum, black currant and licorice flavors that flow through the grippy, tar- and loam-edged finish. Reveals singed alder and bay accents in the background. Needs cellaring to settle into itself." (2/2015) Jancis Robinson: "Very dark. Spi ...Read More »
95 points Antonio Galloni: "Darker tonalities of fruit emerge from the 2012 Syrah Eddie's Patch Hoppe-Kelly Vineyard. Deep and powerful, the 2012 presents a brooding, intense expression of Syrah, with plenty of dark red and blue fruit overtones. I imagine the 2012 will provide readers with a long, broad drinking window of pure pleasure. I was deeply impressed with the wines I tasted at DuMol this year. Winemaker Andy Smith is no longer at Larkmead and is now solely focused on DuMol, which can only be a good thing for these wines. Many of the 2012s, the Pinots in particular, were e ...Read More »
Jeff Runquist helped to introduce Syrah to the program at J. Lohr Winery when he worked there in the early 1990s. "At the time we were unfamiliar with Syrah, and so we spent quite some time exploring the various styles and flavors this grape produced," according to Runquist. Despite appreciating the "terroir-driven character" of Old World Syrah, with its earthy, flinty, and dusty aromas and flavors, he was smitten with deeply flavored old vine Syrah from McClaren Vale and the Barrosa Valley of South Australia, which he attempts to emulate with his Paso R... Read More »
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "There’s 5,000 bottles of the sensational 2012 Cornas Granit 60 Vielles Vignes. Completely destemmed and aged 18 months in 2- to 8-year-old barrels, its purple/black color is followed by an incredible nose of black raspberry, kirsch, crushed rock and violets. Possessing more tension and depth than the Granit 30, it’s full-bodied, thrillingly rich and has solid underlying acidity and tannic structure. Give it a couple years and drink bottles through 2025. (JD)" (12/2014)92 points Antonio Galloni: "Saturated ruby. Assertively perfumed aromas of blackberry, licorice and incense, with a ...Read More »
91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Saturated bright ruby. Reticent, high-pitched aromas of black raspberry, kirsch, licorice and violet, complemented by some sweet oak. Very ripe, dense and smooth, showing an almost liqueur-like quality to its black cherry and saline flavors. Not at all overly sweet but the tannins are suave and fine-grained. This has enough juicy energy to expand in the bottle. As in most recent vintage, a terrific value in Washington Syrah." (12/2014)91 points Wine Spectator: "Focused, dense and polished, with blackberry, cherry and floral flavors on a glassy, smooth texture, lingering easily and ...Read More »