2009 Ramey "Rodgers Creek Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Syrah (1.5L)

SKU #1355144 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2009 Syrah Rodgers Creek Vineyard boasts stunning depth and richness. Black pepper, spices, cloves, plums and blackberries are all woven together in this voluptuous, intense wine. Today, the 2009 tastes like a cross between Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. It, too, is a striking wine if taken on its own terms. Syrah lovers are probably better off looking elsewhere. David Ramey told me in retrospect he may have picked a bit later than ideal. I suppose that is part of the learning process, as Ramey began making Syrah only in 2004. Subsequent vintages are more refined, but both 2009 Syrahs are brutes (beautiful brutes!), at least today. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2029. Once again, I tasted an amazing range of wines with David Ramey. The Syrahs are in some ways the outliers, because they are made by a winemaker with a very Cabernet-influenced palate. As good as Ramey’s Syrahs are, it is impossible not to notice a house style that emphasizes an overt expression of fruit over what might be termed more varietal character, especially in the regular bottling.  (4/2013)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (25% of the fruit was fermented with whole clusters; includes 8% co-fermented viognier): Inky purple. Smoky, complex aromas of candied black and blue fruits, violet, allspice and anise. Tight, sharply focused blackcurrant and boysenberry flavors become sweeter and fleshier with air. A vibrant, graceful rendition of syrah that finishes with outstanding clarity and palate-staining length.  (5/2012)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Features a rich medley of dark berry, charcoal, espresso and beef carpaccio, with the melted licorice and mocha core occupying center stage. Features chewy tannins. Best from 2013 through 2023. 335 cases made.  (3/2013)

90 points Connoisseurs Guide

 *One Star* This deep and very generous wine is long on fruit, fully ripened and laced with lots of gamy varietal spice, but it stops short of being too much, and it strikes us as being a little less lavish and sturdy than many past Ramey bottlings. That said, it wants for nothing in the way of accessible richness, and its easy manner very much invites drinking now. Yet, for those who would put it in the cellar, rest assured that it will be worth the wait of some three to five years.  (3/2013)

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Price: $119.99

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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.
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.
Specific Appellation:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).
Alcohol Content (%): 14.5