2014 Halcón "Alturas" Yorkville Highlands Syrah

SKU #1272629 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Harvested on September 19th, which is the earliest harvest to date, the 2014 Syrah Alturas includes a small amount of cofermented Viognier and spent time in 20% new oak. It offers a sensational bouquet of black raspberries, caramelized black cherries, bouquet garni, smoked duck and chalky minerality. This gives way to a rich, full-bodied Syrah that has beautiful fruit, polished tannin and a seamless elegance that keeps you coming back to the glass. Hats off to winemaker Paul Gordon, this is easily the finest Syrah I've tasted from him. I continue to love these wines from Paul Gordon, all of which come from Mendocino County in the northern part of California. Given the quality, these wines are seriously under priced. Don't miss a chance to latch onto a few of these, as they're made in tiny quantities. (JD)  (8/2016)

K&L Notes

Halcón Vineyards is certainly not a household name in wine at this point but that may change very soon. To us here in the K&L Domestic Department they have been on our radar since we first tasted their 2009 vintage a number of years ago. That first wine we tasted, the 2009 Alturas, was like a slap in the face. We taste so many new wines every year but so few actually make you instantly pay attention and look at what is really there. Ever since we've been wildly intrigued and supportive of this high elevation vineyard in the burgeoning area of the Yorkville Highlands and look forward to tasting the wines year in and year out. (Bryan Brick, K&L)

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Price: $29.99
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Staff Image By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/8/2016 | Send Email
The 2014 Alturas is a stunning wine that is unmistakably Syrah but is not really like any of the “classics” per se, it is not Northern Rhone, or Australia but it is very California. An airy and open nose of fennel, turmeric, cured pork and crushed stone with pastille candies and a wealth of wild blackberry fruit greets the nose, friendly and welcoming. Bright and with good fresh snap this wine is packed with fresh berry flavors and a beam of savory intensity showing flavors of peppered bacon, more crushed rock, cola, beef blood and a mélange of dried herbs. Engaging and pretty hued throughout this is not a Syrah that yells at you incessantly but rather one that sings softly in your ear. Delicious now but easily drinkable over the next 4-9 years.

Staff Image By: Gary Norton | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/8/2016 | Send Email
I was very, very impressed with this wine after tasting it today. High toned and dark fruited, this isn't your average Syrah. While it has a few hallmarks of the varietal, such as game and dried violets, it also has a dazzling acid structure that really pops out of the glass. Great wine now; I am also profoundly curious about where this wine is going to be in 5 years.

Additional Information:



- 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:

Anderson Valley/Mendocino

- Cooled by the nearby ocean and the seemingly omnipresent bank of oceanic fog, this picturesque wine region is home to a wealth of cool-climate grapes like riesling and gewürztraminer plus chardonnay and pinor noir, which are responsible for impressive and intense sparkling wines.