2009 Alban "Reva" Edna Valley Syrah (1.5L)

SKU #1191786 97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Moving on to the vineyard designated Syrahs and a fantastic vintage for this cuvee, which goes back to the 2005, 2006 and 2007 levels of richness, the 2009 Syrah Reva (100% Syrah aged 42-months in French oak) offers up more fruit and purity than normal, with only hints of its normal iodine/seaweed tinged profile. Loaded with sweet black raspberry, cassis, wild herbs, flowers and subtle blood and iodine qualities, it is a full-bodied, decadent Syrah that has incredible mid-palate depth, beautiful freshness and a blockbuster finish. It will continue to gain in depth and richness with short-term cellaring and have an easy 12-15 years or ultimate longevity. (JD)  (8/2013)

97 points Vinous

 Alban's 2009 Syrah Reva is drop-dead gorgeous. Sumptuous, layered and absolutely impeccable, the 2009 boasts stunning depth and richness but it is never overdone or excessively heavy. Today, the aromas and flavors remain intensely primary, so readers will have to be patient. Still, the Reva is simply thrilling, pretty much as it always has been from barrel. As compelling as Alban's higher-end Syrahs are, in 2009 I prefer the Reva, as it is the most polished, impeccable and balanced wine in the range. It will be interesting to follow the development of these wines over the next few years. (AG)  (7/2013)

96-97 points James Suckling

 So much up front with wild fruit and intense berries and licorice. Voluptuous on the nose. But the palate is balanced refined and velvety. Long finish. Contrasty.  (5/2012)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Inky purple. Deeply scented, spicy and smoky aromas of ripe cherries and cassis are lifted by notes of black pepper, Indian spices and a dusty herbal quality. Shows impressive depth and vivacity to its blueberry and blackcurrant flavors, which are sharpened by juicy acidity. Supple tannins come on late, adding focus to a sweet, impressively long finish. This sexy syrah is surprisingly approachable but clearly has the material for a positive evolution in the cellar. (JR)  (11/2013)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Ripe and fleshy, with generous blackberry, plum, raspberry and licorice notes, revealing an edge of fresh-turned earth and cedar. (JL)  (11/2013)


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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:

Santa Maria/Santa Barbara

- Santa Maria and Santa Ynez make up the two AVAs of Santa Barbara County, an area known for its natural beauty and temperate climate. The best grape-growing areas, however, are located on the very coastal reaches of these two appellations, and are cooled by ever-present fog and ocean breezes (it is even cooler and foggier here than Carneros!). As expected, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive while the more inland zones lay claim to Bordeaux varietals and some Rhône blends.
Alcohol Content (%): 15.5