2011 Reynvaan "Stonessence" Walla Walla Syrah

SKU #1144640 97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2011 Syrah Stonessence is a blend of 100% Syrah that competes with the top wines in the vintage. Voluptuous, decadent, layered and full-bodied, with thrilling notes of blackberry, blueberry, underbrush, chocolate and ripe herbs, it has low acidity, superb concentration and a downright sexy style that is just hard to resist. Aged 18 months in 25% new French oak, it can be consumed anytime over the coming 10 to 15 years. (JD)  (6/2014)

95 points Wine Spectator

 Polished, sleek and expressive, offering depth to the ripe blueberry and dark plum flavors, with licorice and crushed basalt accents that stream through the long, plush finish. Has presence and persistence. (HS)  (8/2014)

94 points Wine & Spirits

 Matt Reynvaan’s 2011 syrahs are quieter and more angular than usual, each of them delivering a tighter, more savory impression of the Rocks, with contour and lift. This one, with its scents of tobacco and dried chocolate, delivers dark fig and black cherry fruit flavors; it’s generous and balanced at once, with a nimble texture derived from its firm tannins. For braised lamb shanks.  (2/2015)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright, dark red. High-pitched aromas of raspberry, red cherry, game, flint, woodsmoke and pepper: a real essence of Syrah. Densely packed, chewy and savory, with the wine’s fruit element currently taking a back seat to its smoky, saline and mineral qualities. An impression of sappiness gives it a light touch. Finishes very tactile and long, with good energy and grip, chewy tannins and a smooth, savory umami character. In a distinctly Old World style. (ST)  (12/2014)

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Price: $84.99

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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.


- Washington has become one of the most important wine producing states in the United States, and development continues to grow rapidly. In 1969, when California was exploding as a wine producer, Washington had only two wineries, but by 2000 that number had passed 100. Most of Washington's grape crop goes to uses other than wine. Merlot and Chardonnay have been the most successful in Washington. It's interesting to note that Washington's prime wine regions are located at 46° north, along the same latitude as the legendary French wine districts of Bordeaux and Burgundy. During the summer, Washington averages more than two hours more sunlight each day compared to California.