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2008 Lucia "Garys' Vineyard" Santa Lucia Highlands Syrah

SKU #1060553 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Made in a similar style, but even richer, is the 2008 Syrah Garys’ Vineyard. Approximately 35% whole clusters were used in this wine’s upbringing as well as 35% new oak. A terrific Syrah from this cool climate region, it boasts a dense purple color along with a seamless integration of acidity, tannin, alcohol, and wood. Hints of ink, graphite, blackberries, blueberries, and forest floor characteristics are found in this full-bodied, rich, but never overwrought or too heavy beauty. Enjoy it over the next decade.  (8/2010)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Showing both power and finesse, this is tight, rich and potent, marked by spicy, peppery dried berry, sage and dusty, cedary notes, opening up to hints of cherry and wild berry. Ends with a minerally aftertaste. Best from 2012 through 2022. 110 cases made.  (5/2011)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Opaque purple. An intensely perfumed bouquet evokes blackberry, ripe cherry, olive and smoky Indian spices. The palate shows livelier raspberry and floral character and a late note of cracked pepper. Juicy and precise wine, with very good finishing bite and sweet persistence.  (11/2010)

K&L Notes

Garys' Vineyard is named for grape-growing partners Gary Pisoni and Gary Franscioni. Both come from multi-generational farming families in the Salinas Valley. Located in the heart of the Santa Lucia Highlands on sandy loam soil, the 50-acre vineyard is planted mostly to Pinot Noir with a small section of Syrah. Given the proximity to Monterey Bay, fog blankets the Garys' Vineyard in the summer months, providing for a cool, slow-ripening season. Since its inception, the Garys' Vineyard has had an avid following—including Wine&Spirits, which named Garys' Vineyard one of the "Best New Vineyards." Steve Heimoff of Wine Enthusiast described Garys' Vineyard as having "fabulous terroir, which usually yields wines of impeccable balance and lushness."

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Price: $44.99
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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.


- 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:

Santa Lucia Highlands