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2016 Dragonette "Seven" Santa Ynez Syrah

SKU #1392703 93 points Wine & Spirits

 This wine, originally a blend of Syrah from seven sites, draws on only four vineyards in 2016: John Sebastiani, the coldest; Spear, in the Sta. Rita Hills; and Stolpman and Kimsey in Ballard Canyon. (All but Stolpman are organically farmed.) It’s a fascinating, shape-shifting wine, coursing through notes of black peppercorn, black mushrooms, black cherries and potpourri before coming together in a smoky finish. The flavors are precise, feral and completely savory, needing roast goat or slow-smoked beef ribs to take them on.  (2/2019)

92 points Connoisseurs Guide

 Comprised of grapes grown in several select Santa Ynez Valley sites, Dragonette’s latest Seven is a deep, densely filled Syrah blend that delivers a wealth of concentrated, blackberry fruit with adjuncts of pepper, roasted meats and a wispy suggestion of dark soil making for a complex and well-layered mix. It is quite full and fleshy on the palate yet is never heavy or coarse, and it is fit with neatly measured, finegrained tannins that provide just the right degree of grip. Big, but not blustery and sure to grow gracefully with age, it is a wellcrafted working that can be counted on to improve for another six to ten years.  (3/2019)

K&L Notes

Jeb Dunnuck writes: "Located in Buellton, Dragonette Cellars was created in 2005 with a partnership between John and Steve Dragonette, and Brandon Sparks-Gillis, who takes the lead on the winemaking front. These are beautiful, distinctive and incredibly high quality wines across the board, and at the top end are some of the most impressive wines I was able to taste from Santa Barbara County."

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Price: $41.99

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Staff Image By: Sharon Kelly | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/31/2018 | Send Email
Year after year, Dragonette continues to impress me with their extremely well-crafted and elegant expressions of California wines. At a recent visit to the top of the John Sebastiano vineyard (where a portion of the fruit for this wine came from), this was poured into our glasses as we took in the view, the cold wind blowing around us, this gorgeous Syrah warming our souls. The sensational "Seven" is a dynamic blend of black and blue fruits with the peppery, meaty quality I love about this varietal, and it finishes with sensual texture and persistence.

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 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.