2014 Cattleya Wines "Soberanes Vineyard" Syrah

SKU #1346415 97 points Jeb Dunnuck

 The inkly colored 2014 Syrah Soberanes Vineyard is just drop dead gorgeous, and I suspect the greatest wine made to date from this site. Deep ruby/purple colored, with liquid violet, black raspberries, cassis, graphite, and hints of charcoal, it hits the palate with sensational depth of fruit, full-bodied richness and a layered, multi-dimensional texture that keeps you coming back to the glass. There's just 115 cases, don't miss it!  (7/2017)

K&L Notes

The story of Cattleya begins in Medellín, Colombia where winemaker Bibiana González Rave was born and raised before moving to France in search of a wine education. After finishing her initial technician diploma near Cognac, Bibiana followed that up with a degree in Oenology from the University of Bordeaux, working harvests at Château Haut-Brion and other top estates in the area. After picking up additional experience in both Burgundy and the Northern Rhône, as well a stint in South Africa, she made her way out to California and worked her way up into a head winemaking position at Lynmar in the Russian River region. It was in Sonoma that she finally found her heart's terroir, the ability to make wines that truly expressed her soul's intentions. So she decided to put down roots. Married to winemaker Jeff Pisoni, son of famed California maverick Gary Pisoni, Bibiana was able to use her family connections to source a tiny amount of Syrah from Soberanes Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands, one of the most dynamic sites for the varietal in the state. What she has done with that fruit is nothing short of miraculous, weaving layer upon layer of dark, mouthcoating fruit through waves of minerality and spice, bolstered by a rich texture and substantial weight. This is as close to a hidden gem as we find in California these days, as only 115 cases were made.

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Price: $64.99
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Staff Image By: David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/16/2018 | Send Email
I'm am a full-fledged believer in everything Bibiana touches at this point, having now tasted through her entire line-up of entry level wines, all the way to the top shelf Soberanes Syrah. There's not one clunky wine in the entire portfolio. From top to bottom, front to back, this woman knows how to make wine and when she finds herself in possession of incredible California fruit, she damn sure knows what to do with it. The 2014 Soberanes Syrah is an absolute revelation, packed with such lithe concentration that you're simultaneously stunned by how incredibly rich it tastes while maintaining such grace. For those who think they've tried California's best Syrahs, I'm guessing you haven't yet tried this. And if you haven't tried the 2014 Cattleya, then there's a huge gap in your tasting experience.

Additional Information:



- 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:

Santa Lucia Highlands