2008 Sine Qua Non "B 20" Syrah

SKU #1068068 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2008 Syrah B-20 is a cool, inward wine graced with layers of beautifully delineated, chiseled fruit. This is a distinctly mineral, precise style relative to the more outgoing 2009, but both are striking. Floral notes add lift as the finish turns explosive with a burst of dark fruit, tar, licorice and crushed rocks. This is one of the more understated wines readers are likely to come across from Sine Qua Non. It is gorgeous when given the time to open up. The B-20 is predominantly Syrah, with 6% Grenache and 2% Viognier. About half of the Grenache was fermented with whole clusters and the wine was aged in French oak (60% new) for 26 months. (AG)  (8/2011)

94 points James Suckling

 Intense aromas of raspberries and blueberries with hints of flowers and minerals. Full and dense with a beautiful purity and intensity. Very long and intense. Deep.  (10/2011)

94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Glass-staining purple. Highly aromatic nose combines blackberry, cassis, violet, truffle, graphite and cola, with a strong note of cracked pepper. Juicy, precise and shockingly delicate for a big boy (15.5% alcohol), with intense flavors of dark berry compote and candied violet. This has both weight, silkiness, and a strong, energizing core of minerality. Very suave on the back end, finishing with very suave tannins and superb lift. (JR)  (11/2010)

93 points Wine Spectator

 Fresh, rich and vibrant, with a medley of cranberry, spice, pepper, wild berry, blueberry and mineral notes. Full-bodied and supple in texture, ending with game meat and dried berry flavors supported by firm, spicy tannins. (JL)  (7/2011)

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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.