2002 Hyde de Villaine "HdV" Carneros Syrah (Previously $50.00)

SKU #1011995 92 points Wine Spectator

 A dense, rich yet elegantly styled wine with layers of tobacco leaf, beef carpaccio, white pepper, wild berry, raspberry and plum, holding a sharp focus and finishing with a long, persistent finish that gains complexity and nuance, and has just the right mix of tannins and acidity.  (5/2004)

90 points Connoisseurs Guide

 *One Star* Here is a deep and big-bodied look at Syrah that offers up lots of well-defined fruit and is sweetened with wonderful oak. It is concentrated and firmly balanced with finely fit tannins for grip and at all points conveys a very real sense of potency. Never an especially bold or blustery wine, it proves that muscle and style are not mutually exclusive virtues. It is an eminently ageworthy effort, and we would not be surprised in the least if it gains in complexity for seven to ten years.  (3/2005)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The Syrah is made in an elegant, French style. The 2002 Syrah reveals a deep, dark ruby color along with a sweet nose of black cherries, mountain berries, flowers, and white pepper. Crisp, tart acidity, medium body, and a clean finish ... It is vaguely reminiscent of a low-keyed St.-Joseph. (RP)  (12/2005)

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright medium ruby. Smoky, minerally aromas of cassis, bitter chocolate, tobacco and black pepper. Juicy, sappy and firm-edged, with dense, primary flavors of black cherry, licorice, pepper and herbs. A very minerally, nicely concentrated syrah that tightened up in the glass. Finishes quite firm, relying more on its rather bracing acids than its tannins for backbone. These Hyde de Villaine wines, a joint venture between the Hyde (Carneros) and de Villaine (Burgundy) families, are decidedly French in style.  (1/2005)

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Price: $44.99
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- 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.

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.


- 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.
Specific Appellation:


- Just across the Golden Gate from San Francisco, Carneros is kept cool by Bay breezes and thick fog, and has long been famous for cool-climate pinot noir, chardonnay and sparkling wine based on the two varietals. Warmer pockets have proved interesting and promising homes for syrah, cabernet and merlot.