2011 Torrin "Akasha" Paso Robles Syrah

SKU #1206512 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2011 Akasha is another beautiful effort in the vintage. Made from 100% Syrah and aged in 55% new French oak, it comes from cooler, east- and north-facing plots, and harvest was on November 4th, two weeks later than in 2010. Its deep purple color is followed by loads of cassis and blackberry-styled fruit, ground pepper, licorice and baking spice, and it hits the palate with a full-bodied, lightly textured and graceful feel. Carrying plenty of savory tannin, solid mid-palate depth and a brilliant length on the finish, it too will benefit from short-term cellaring and have over a decade of longevity. Made by Scott Hawley, these are classic Paso blends that never lack for fruit or texture, yet always back it up with superb underlying structure. (JD)  (8/2014)

93 points Vinous

 Vivid purple. Cherry-cola, cassis and blueberry scents show excellent clarity and appealing freshness. Stains the palate with intense dark fruit and violet pastille flavors, with notes of allspice and cracked pepper providing lift. Powerful for sure, but there's no excess fat here. The sappy, gently tannic finish strongly repeats the spice notes and lingers with outstanding tenacity. (JR)  (9/2015)

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Price: $74.99

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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:

Paso Robles

- Located about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, this inland AVA enjoys a sunny and hot growing period while its seaside neighbors hang in the fog. Zinfandel is the traditional red grape of choice, though cabernet, chardonnay, and Rhône varietals are gaining favor. Most are made in a fruit-forward, early drinking style.