2006 Lost Canyon Winery "Alegria Vineyard" Russian River Valley Syrah (Previously $35)

SKU #1125699 90 points Wine Enthusiast

 This is a big, tannic young wine that requires some aging, or at least several hours of decanting, to begin to be approachable. It’s tough as nails, but even with the tannins, the core of blackberry, plum and chocolate-anise biscotti flavors shines through.  (6/ 2008)

K&L Notes

Still a bit tight upon opening, this wine really opens up and fleshes out with some decanting or air. For the price, you will be hard-pressed to find another Syrah with the same amount of structure and depth. This is an excellent wine to pair with some heavier dishes like ribs or grilled chops. Lost Canyon Winery was purchased by Fritz Cellars of Dry Creek Valley, and the acquisition included all of their wines and vineyard sources. Fritz is now clearing out their cellar of their Lost Canyon wines. This means an unbeatable deal on some fine Russian River Valley Syrah which is just entering its drinking window. Lost Canyon Winery had true gargariste origins, as it was literally started in a garage in the Montclair Hills of California in 1978. Jack States and Randy Keworth eventually teamed up with Bob Riskin and the Lost Canyon Winery was officially bonded in 2001. The urban winery was established in a renovated, circa 1900s warehouse on the San Francisco Bay waterfront south of Jack London Square in Oakland. Lost Canyon was one of fifteen wineries part of the East Bay Vintner's Alliance, and he wines showed excellent consistency from vintage to vintage. They had long-term vineyard contracts and focused on 2,500 annual cases of small-lot Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Viognier from cool-climate vineyards in the Russian River Valley, Los Carneros and Sonoma Coast appellations.

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Price: $9.99

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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:

Alexander Valley/Russian River

- Among Sonoma County's northernmost appellations, the Alexander Valley AVA acts as a gateway to neighboring Napa to the east and Mendocino to the north. It is a sprawling appellation, with pockets of distinct microclimates and soils, and as such, is home to a variety of wine grapes and styles. Nearly everything grows in the Alexander Valley, though Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the most widely planted grapes. The Russian River Valley lies to the south of Alexander Valley, and is marked by much cooler temperatures and frequently heavy fog. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown here are some of the state's finest and most sought-after. Aromatic whites like Gewürztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.1