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2017 Pax "Sonoma-Hillsides" Sonoma County Syrah (Previously $48)

SKU #1383496 94 points Vinous

Outer quote mark In the glass, the 2017 is richer, sweeter and more immediate than the much darker and more brooding 2016, with a distinct red fruit character. Best of all, it will drink well upon release. All things considered, Pax Mahle turned out a brilliant Syrah in 2017 and my guess is that less extreme vintages will provide an opportunity for him to match the 2016 – which, in my view, remains his best wine ever. Vineyard sites are Walker Vine Hill, Nellessen Vineyard, Castelli-Knight Ranch and Griffin's Lair. (AG) Inner quote mark (5/2019)

90 points Jeb Dunnuck

Outer quote mark Reminding me of a san soufre Saint Joseph, the 2017 Syrah Sonoma-Hillsides is all Syrah that was sourced from the Castelli-Knight, Griffins Lair, Walker Viney Hill, and Nellessen Vineyards, saw no destemming, and spent a short ten months in concrete tanks before bottling. This juicy, lively effort offers lots of blue fruits, violets, leafy green herbs, and some leesy notes in a medium to full-bodied, rounded, charming effort that has good acidity. It's forward and ready to go, and given the wild, slightly natural vibe, I suspect best enjoyed over the coming 4-6 years. Inner quote mark (12/2018)

Jancis Robinson

Outer quote mark ‘Inspired by the wines of St Joseph, this 100% Syrah is becoming a reference point of its own for the variety. Just as in the northern Rhône, this wine is a blend of multiple sites, using the most interesting expositions of these meticulously cared for vineyards. Hillsides exemplifies the freshness and vibrancy that Syrah can achieve on cool-climate slopes.’ Really savoury and juicy. Very successful and actually pure copycat! But a lovely wine – even if not cheap. 17/20 points. (JR) Inner quote mark (6/2020)


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By: Jeffrey Markavage | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/7/2019 | Send Email
Wow, what a mouthful of flavor this wine provides! If you weren't ready this wine would knock you over just from holding the glass. For their 2017 Sonoma County Syrah, Pax Mahle uses 100% whole cluster for the fermentation in concrete. As a result, there is no shortage of nice chewy brambly fruit that will leave your taste buds in heaven. Because of the whole cluster inclusion, the alcohol stays in check at about 12.9%. The 2016 received a perfect score and I expect something similar with the 2017 vintage. Read Mr. Whoodhouse's review for more detail

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/4/2019 | Send Email
A real statement wine. Pax has produced a distinctive whole cluster driven style with 100% stem inclusion and fermentation in concrete. Fruit comes from some of the most celebrated cool climate Syrah sites in California including Griffin's Lair, Nellessen and Castelli-Knight vineyards. Aromas of tart blackberry jam, bramble fruit, bracken, cracked peppercorns and cocoa nib. Medium bodied with sinewy tannins and plenty of mouth filing fruit. Whiffs of smoky reduction and gamy characters hark back to Cornas or St.Joseph. A wine built for the long haul with boundless energy and drive.

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