2011 Araujo "Eisele Vineyard" Napa Valley Syrah

SKU #1176903 94 points James Suckling

 This shows a more hermitage blueberry and dark-fruit character, plus slate, minerals and black pepper. Full body with racy tannins and a long, long. Slippery texture, like candle wax.  (3/2015)

92-94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2011 Syrah Eisele Vineyard is redolent of black olives, cracked pepper, savory herbs and licorice. Here, too, varietal notes are especially vivid as a result of the cold vintage. Stem inclusion was a little higher than in the past, and 3% Viognier was added to the blend. There is more than enough intensity here to make me hopeful for the future. (AG)  (12/2012)

94 points Vinous

 The 2011 Syrah Eisele Vineyard is rich, dense, textured and also incredibly primary. Smoke, tar, game, black pepper, plum and licorice notes emerge, but only with great reluctance. The 2011 remains intense and resonant in its fruit, but also very young, somber and almost raw. Readers will have to give the 2011 at least a few years in bottle. Once again, Araujo's Eisele Syrah is incredibly distinctive and intense. The 2011 was fermented with 10-15% whole clusters, with a splash of Viognier. According to vineyard manager Caleb Mosley Syrah was the least problematic variety in 2011, as all the fruit came in before the rains. (AG)  (11/2013)

92 points Wine Spectator

 An exciting, vibrant Syrah, intense and deeply flavored, offering rich dark berry, spice, roasted herb and hot stone sensations that are sharply focused but also quite tannic and chewy. (JL)  (3/2015)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Medium-dark red. Aromas of blackberry, violet, licorice and cocoa powder. Dense, spicy and nicely concentrated, with brisk acidity framing the black raspberry, blackberry and spice flavors. Finishes with tongue-dusting but sweet tannins and a light peppery quality that provides grip without coming off as green. (ST)  (6/2014)

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Price: $119.99

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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. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- 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:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.