2010 Terre Rouge "Les Côtes de l'Ouest" Syrah

SKU #1146707 Connoisseurs Guide

 Winemaker Bill Easton remains one our favorite Sierra Foothill producers of serious Syrah, and this very solid, modestly priced effort delivers a great deal of bang for the buck. It is both ripe and quite lively with lots of youthfully exuberant berry-like fruit, and its savory accents of dark soils and peppery spice go right to the varietal point. It is milder in tannin than many of its bigger-boned cousins, but it is balanced to firmness and clearly could do with a few years in the cellar.  (3/ 2013)

Wine Enthusiast

 Fragrant in game, lavender, herb and red berry fruit, Terre Rouge’s only California appellation Syrah is dusty, savory and reasonably light, approachable from beginning to end. On the finish, enjoy handfuls of peppery spice.  (6/ 2013)

K&L Notes

From the winery: "This is our entry level, St. Joseph-like Syrah. It is made from fruit grown at a superb vineyard site that is planted in the hills just west of the Amador County line, just a few miles from the Mokelumne River in Clements Hills (a new Lodi sub-appellation). Tight spacing, vertical trellising, and upward shoot positioning give the fruit maximum sun exposure to promote full flavor development. We find the wine is very forward and drinkable shortly after bottling making it a great everyday Syrah and perfect as a restaurant glass pour. This wine is exceedingly dark in color with rich, silky wild raspberry fruit flavors laced with pepper, tar, and herb tones. Aromas are raspberry, smoky, wild gamey, peppery, and cinnamon. The wine has a clean purity of Syrah fruit that is reminiscent of many Northern Rhône wines. It has full forward fruit, great acid balance and is very smooth and creamy in the mouth."

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Price: $16.99

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Additional Information:

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:

Sierra Foothills/El Dorado

- This sweeping inland territory (an AVA on its own right), encompassing El Dorado, Fiddletown, Shenandoah and Amador, has been on the grape-growing map since the Gold Rush. With the exception of high-altitude El Dorado, the vineyards here are sun-baked and hot—in other words, best suited to old-vine zinfandel, petit sirah and Rhône varietals. The cooler climes of El Dorado are ideal for cabernet, chardonnay and merlot.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.5