2013 Andrew Murray "Alisos Vineyard" Santa Ynez Valley Syrah

SKU #1225538 94 points Vinous

 An addition to the range, 2013 Syrah Alisos Vineyard is built on subtlety and nuance. The flavors lean towards the redder end of the spectrum next to the other wines, which tend to be darker. All the elements meld together effortlessly on the long, beautifully textured finish. The 2013 has so much going for it, not the least of which is its totally alluring personality. Andrew Murray's wines rarely disappoint. This is another set of fleshy, rewarding wines that are sure to find large audience. Murray continues to focus his range, giving increasingly more space to estate wines. Curtis Vineyard, where Murray recently signed a long-term lease, is the newest addition to the collection of sites in this lineup. I also tasted the 2014 Syrah Tous les Jours, but it had just been sulfured and was completely unexpressive.  (6/2015)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Inky colored, with young, jammy notes of black raspberry, blackberries, pepper and hints of toast, the inaugural release of the 2013 Syrah Alisos Vineyard is a bonafide fruit bomb that does everything right. Incorporating 2% Viognier, with 30% whole clusters, it was aged 18 months in a scant 5% new French oak, it has full-bodied richness, beautiful purity and notable freshness, all while delivering tons of sweet fruit. Drink this sexy red over the coming 5-6 years. Andrew Murray is on a roll and these latest releases are all superb. All of the wines have distinctive, individual characters and are impeccably made. In addition, they all represent killer values. If you haven't tried the wines from here yet, now is certainly time taste for yourself!  (8/2015)

K&L Notes

This is the debut release of this single vineyard Syrah from the famed Alisos Vineyard along Alisos Canyon Road, just around the corner from the winery. It is across the road from Thompson Vineyard and down the road from Watch Hill Vineyard. This neighborhood is definitely a sweet spot for a cooler climate style Syrah. They've employed nearly 30% whole clusters in the fermenters, and a tiny of bit of Viognier as well, just to add to the complexity of this Syrah. This age-worthy beauty certainly tastes delicious now, but it will hold in your cellar for a decade or more...that is if you can wait that long.

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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.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Maria/Santa Barbara

- Santa Maria and Santa Ynez make up the two AVAs of Santa Barbara County, an area known for its natural beauty and temperate climate. The best grape-growing areas, however, are located on the very coastal reaches of these two appellations, and are cooled by ever-present fog and ocean breezes (it is even cooler and foggier here than Carneros!). As expected, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive while the more inland zones lay claim to Bordeaux varietals and some Rhône blends.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.1
Organic: