2015 Arnot-Roberts Sonoma Coast Syrah (Previously $40)

SKU #1276495 92 points John Gilman

 The 2015 Sonoma Coast cuvée from Arnot-Roberts is a beautiful, low octane and very classically styled bottle of Syrah. The wine tips the scales at a cool 12.5 percent, is fermented with indigenous yeasts and is one hundred percent whole clusters, with the elevage taking place in older casks. The bouquet is deep, pure and youthful, wafting from the glass in a blend of cassis, pepper, a touch of black raspberry, spiced meats, lovely soil tones and a youthful touch of stems. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, focused and still plenty chewy, with a fine core, excellent soil signature, ripe tannins and impressive focus and grip on the long and very promising finish. This wine needs to be tucked away for another eight to ten years to really blossom, after which it should drink beautifully for another four decades or more. High class juice! 2023-2065.  (8/2017)

K&L Notes

Duncan Arnot Meyers and Nathan Roberts were named "Winemakers of the Year" in 2012 by the San Francisco Chronicle, and the duo has been going from success to success vintage after vintage. Antonio Galloni, writing for the Wine Advocate, called Arnot-Roberts "one of the most exciting young wineries in California, or anywhere for that matter." Their Syrahs come from cooler vineyards, and this entry-level version has the tension, pepperiness and vibrant dark fruit you would expect.

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Staff Image By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/23/2017 | Send Email
Arnot Roberts is a favorite of the wines of balance geeks and there's no doubt that they're doing something really special up there in Healdsburg. That said this does not strike me as something that should be reserved for the geeks, while it's certainly a vin de garde, there's an obvious depth and complexity beyond just the wild acidity. A wonderful ethereal violet color in the glass. Deep dark aromas of fresh cracked pepper over dark blue fruit. Wonderful earthy and exotic woodsy tones and a racy structure hints at the incredible depth behind the fabulous wine. IT's begging you to put it away til 2020 and I think those who can commit to a longer term relationship with this special bottle will be seriously rewarded.

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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.