2009 Alban "Patrina" Edna Valley Syrah

SKU #1085371 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Readers looking for an alternative to the higher-priced and harder to find wines in this lineup should focus on the 2009 Patrina. As I noted last year, the Patrina is a new Syrah made from parcels that have never been used for Reva, Lorraine or Seymour’s. The 2009 is a gorgeous, classy wine that captures the essence of the Alban house style. Sweet red cherries, flowers and mint are some of the many notes that flow from this impeccable, silky and polished Syrah. Today, the 2009 is accessible, open and even more beautiful than it was from barrel. (AG)  (8/2012)

94 points Wine Spectator

 Both rich and powerful, with a measure of finesse and restraint, mingling dark berry, boysenberry and huckleberry flavors, with notes of spice, cedar, tobacco and licorice. Maintains its focus and persistence on the finish. A new Syrah from Alban, coming from a younger vineyard. Drink now through 2023. *Highly Recommended* (JL)  (6/2012)

93 points Jeb Dunnuck

 There are 1,200 cases of the 2009 Alban Vineyards Syrah Patrina Alban Estate Vineyard produced and it’s a perfect entry into John’s wines. A blend of 100% Syrah from all over the estate, it doesn’t have the depth or structure of John’s other Syrahs, yet it’s textbook Alban in style with deep, ripe aromas of dark berry styled fruit, violets, meat juice, and licorice all soaring from the glass. Full-bodied and voluptuously textured, with palate staining fruit, excellent acidity, and solid length, this still stays perfectly balanced, light, and overall elegant. It’s delicious now, and should continue to shine for 8-10 years.  (6/2012)

93 points James Suckling

 Intense dark fruits and berries with licorice and graphite. Full and fruity with a lovely center palate. Concentrated and long. Yet agile and pretty. This is a blend of six blocks on this property but not the top crus. Drink now or hold.  (5/2012)

92 points Vinous

 Inky purple. Classic syrah aromas of black and blue fruits, cracked pepper, olive tapenade and violet, with a spicy overtone. Concentrated and chewy in texture, offering sappy cassis and blueberry flavors and a touch of bitter chocolate. The spicy note returns on the long, smooth, focused finish. Shows nice complexity now but this syrah should age well on its energy. (JR)  (11/2012)

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Price: $59.99
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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.