2011 Limerick Lane Russian River Valley Syrah/Grenache

SKU #1148342 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A blend of 63% Syrah and 37% Grenache (the latter from 40-year-old head-pruned vines), the 2011 Syrah/Grenache is Sonoma’s version of a French Chateauneuf du Pape. It was aged in neutral oak and achieved 14.5% natural alcohol. Abundant notes of lavender, roasted herbs, kirsch liqueur, black currants, bouquet garni and roasted meat jump from the glass of this opaque ruby/plum-colored wine. Full-bodied, rich, textured and long, it should drink well for 5-6 years. Sadly, there are fewer than 400 cases of this beauty. This Healdsburg winery on Limerick Lane broke into the wine scene many years ago, only to go through a succession of tragic events which need no further elaboration. In any event, the winery basically stopped producing wine, but recently this 30-acre estate was taken over by the family that owns the Marietta Winery in Alexander Valley, and I believe these are the first releases from Limerick Lane Cellars in many years. What is so remarkable is not only the quality of the following wines, but also that they emerged from 2011, a vintage notoriously poor for Zinfandel. You would never know that when tasting these wines. This winery looks set for a terrific resurrection.  (12/ 2013)

K&L Notes

Winemaker notes: "This blend of 63% Syrah and 37% Grenache is a mix of bright and lively pomegranate, full earthy flavors, slightly waxy tannins and a bit of oak spice on the finish. As it opens the red fruits become even juicier in the mouth, ending with a smooth, integrated finish."

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Price: $31.99

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By: Bryan Brick |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 2/26/2014  | Send Email
Limerick Lane was always one of the great mysteries of the Russian River Valley. I think however that mystery has finally been solved. Let me explain. For years this winery had zero consistency. Some years the wines would just floor you with their rare mix of finesse and complexity, the next they’d be undrinkable. It always seemed that the raw materials were exceptional; they were just not being molded in the right way. Then the Bilbro Brothers, previously working at their family’s winery Marietta, bought the winery in 2011 and everything changed. The wines, even the early ones that they didn’t make from front to back were of the level that I’d expect. The 2011 vintage is the first that they made in its entirety and the wines are absolutely stunning. The 2011 Grenache/Syrah is at first look a bruiser of a wine, but if one looks closely I think there is more than meets the eye here. Packed with bold aromatics of pepper bacon, chaparral, wild blackberries and fresh asphalt this is not shy on the instant the cork is pulled. On the palate it lightens up a bit with the fresh red fruited nature of the Grenache adding a counter weight to the hefty Syrah spice and meatiness. Add some pleasing structural tannins and a slick, polished nature and this is about as good as modern Rhone Blends get in California.

By: Jim Boyce |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 2/21/2014  | Send Email
This Syrah/Grenache is full of red cherry, pomegranate, red currant, cola, rose hip, and mild smoked meat with a great mineral streak and perfect balance. While it is slightly closed now, it should open up in the next few months and continue to develop over the next eight years. Stunning!

By: Sarah Covey |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 2/12/2014  | Send Email
Red cherry, spice, mineral, wet clay, blackberry and red and black currants, with medium plus acidity and medium plus tannin. None of the floral or overripe fruit sappiness which can weigh down Syrah-Grenache blends in the Rhone, this quite well-structured, balanced Syrah-Grenache blend gives any Chateauneuf du Pape a run for its money, hands down. Way to go, Limerick Lane!

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Additional Information:

Varietal:

Other Red Wines

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 (%): 14.5