2015 Plumpjack Napa Valley Syrah

SKU #1320041 95 points Jeb Dunnuck

 The 2015 Syrah from PlumpJack was fermented with 40% Whole Clusters and raised in 68% new French oak. It’s a gorgeous, pedal to the metal beauty that boasts a deep, saturated purple color as well as tons of smoked meats, blackberry, olive, and wood smoke aromas and flavors. Rich and full-bodied, yet light on its feet, this powerful Napa Valley Syrah has a touch of old world charm and will drink nicely for at least a decade, although I see no need to delay gratification.  (12/2017)

95 points Vinous

 Plumpjack's 2015 Syrah is lush, sensual and totally inviting. All the elements fall into place effortlessly. A rush of black cherry, plum, chocolate, lavender, spice and licorice infuse this bold, intensely layered Syrah. The 30% whole clusters are nearly buried by the sheer richness of the fruit. (AG)  (3/2018)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Syrah is a little broody to begin, opening with tar and scorched earth notions, which soon give way to expressive blackberry preserves, blueberry pie and licorice scents plus hints of cracked pepper, violets and smoked meats. The full-bodied palate bursts with an array of black berry preserves and savory layers, supported by rounded tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long and peppery. (LPB) 94+  (10/2017)

92 points Wine Spectator

 A muscular backbone is layered with bold and rich flavors, offering notes of blackberry, mocha and savory licorice that build speed toward big but refined tannins. (TF)  (12/2017)

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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.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.