2009 Peay Vineyards "Les Titans" Sonoma Coast Syrah

SKU #1144776 94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Opaque violet color. High-pitched aromas of black raspberry, cracked pepper, woodsmoke, black olive and violet. Textbook syrah, offering dense, lush dark berry and floral flavors and a seamless texture. Shows excellent clarity and intensity on the finish, leaving behind notes of dark berry skin, licorice and candied flowers. (JR)  (5/2012)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The estate’s 2009 Syrah Les Titans, a late release, is a powerhouse. Partly the result of vintage and partly style, the 2009 explodes with generous, radiant red fruit. Ripe, open and silky, the 2009 is a wine of textural elegance above all else, while true varietal notes are more in the background. Though outstanding, I prefer the 2010 La Bruma for its greater varietal typicity. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2021. (AG)  (4/2013)

93 points Wine & Spirits

 Eau de Peay: These guys could trademark the scent of this wine. The Syrah that grows on this far-coastal ridge in Annapolis consistently carries that scent, a combination of cracked black peppercorn, strawberry, choke cherry and woodland underbrush. For now, this ’09 is still a bit chunky with tannin, and the aroma doesn’t carry through to the end, but it may grow more graceful with cellar time. And I would buy it for the vibrancy of the color and the scent alone.  (6/2012)

Jancis Robinson

 Tightly wound. Meaty with notes of cedar, tart dark cherry, white pepper, and iron accents throughout. Mouth-watering acidity, full stimulating mid palate that falls off a bit on the finish. Will age but wants tons of air upon opening – ultra-focused. (16.5+/20 points)  (1/2015)

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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:

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).