Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 50


YEAR'S BEST US SYRAH
its stony power-the tannins feel hard yet
bright, like flecks of obsidian, providing a
firm foundation for a syrah that seems to hit
all of the low notes and all of the high notes at
once, from blackberry and black olive to bay
leaf and violets. It's a muscular wine, built for
the cellar, and for slow-cooked lamb or pork.
(W&S 8/16; 300 cases) § Domaine de la Terre
Rouge, Plymouth, CA
447453

92 | Big Basin Vineyards

$55

2013 Santa Cruz Mountains Rattlesnake
Rock Vineyard Syrah ^ With its aromas of
mulch, wood smoke and pine needles, this
smells like it comes from the middle of a
forest-and it does. Bradley Brown's home
vineyard on the remote western flank of
the Santa Cruz Mountains is surrounded
by redwoods, the vines growing in shallow
hillside soils based on slate and sandstone.
It's a potent wine, firm and savory to the
core, its tough hillside structure balanced by
mouthwatering cool-climate acidity. Tonya
Pitts of SF's One Market suggested serving
it with duck confit. (275 cases) § Big Basin
Vineyards, Boulder Creek, CA
442951

92 | Copain

$36

2012 Yorkville Highlands Les Voisins
Syrah ^ Like the 2013 recommended above,
this comes from three Yorkville Highlands
vineyards. The wine rises out of tannins as
black as iron filings, brisk coastal acidity
turning the flavors toward juicy cassis and
pungent mountain herbs. Compared to
the 2013, it's perhaps a touch fatter in the
middle, but both are compelling syrahs. Keep
it in the cellar for three years or more, then
pour it with wild game or beef. (W&S 4/16;
580 cases) § Copain Wines, Healdsburg, CA

now. (W&S 6/16; 467 cases) § Dutton-Goldfield,
Santa Rosa, CA
447197

91 | Anthill Farms

$28

2014 Sonoma Coast Peters Vineyard Syrah
(Best Buy) ^ "This feels like a very cool site,"
said W&S's Josh Greene when he tasted this
wine, and he was right-Peters Vineyard sits
at the base of the Sebastopol Hills near the
Petaluma Gap, which brings regular ocean
breezes and fog. Syrah ripens late here; the
wine tastes as if the grapes were caught on
the cusp of ripeness, brisk and sanguine, its
lively aromas of fresh herbs and lavender
coexisting with edgy volatility that brings
a balsamic tang to the finish. (120 cases) §
Anthill Farms Winery, Healdsburg, CA

$39

2014 Carneros Whole Cluster Las Madres
Vineyard Syrah ^ From a cool site southwest
of the town of Sonoma, not far from San
Pablo Bay, this is brusque at first, warmed
by alcohol but otherwise gruff and shut
down. Air teases out its nuances, unbraiding
the spiciness of whole-cluster fermentation
and coaxing a high-toned floral aspect and
a gamey, iron-tinged savor out of its initial
black-olive tone. It's hearty and bright, a
harmonious cool-climate syrah to decant
for lamb. (75 cases) § RFA Wines, Calistoga, CA

50

WINE & SPIRITS

FEBRUARY 2017

90 | Copain

$36

90 | Pax

$65

90 | Qupé

$55

90 | Terre Rouge

$35

2012 Mendocino County Cahto Ridge
Alder Springs Vineyard Syrah ^ From
Stuart Bewley's sprawling ranch in the
coastal hills of Mendocino, this syrah feels
herbal and almost astringent at first, yet
there's a refreshing verve to its chokecherry
and anise flavors. It's brisk and firm, with
a stony persistence that's as appetizing as
it is uncompromising. It will match lamb
shoulder, and will likely improve with a
few years of age. (W&S 10/16; 71 cases) § Pax
Mahle Wines, Forestville, CA
445585

$48

2013 Santa Ynez Valley Eight Barrel Syrah ^
This comes from two blocks on the Zaca
Mesa estate, both planted in the 2000s at
over 1,300 feet of elevation. It feels massive
at first, a mélange of alcohol, smoky oak,
extracted purple fruit and chewy tannins.
As air works its way into that dense core,

2013 Sierra Foothills High Slopes
Syrah ^ Drawn from several high-elevation
vineyards, this is a rustic, bloody syrah with
a spark of balsamic volatility lifting its dusty
red-currant flavor. The tannins are imposing
for now, needing time in the cellar to mellow.

$50

2013 Russian River Valley Dutton Ranch
Cherry Ridge Vineyard Syrah ^ Grown
on an east-facing hillside in Green Valley,
this is a syrah with a sunny disposition, its
bright lavender hue mirroring its clean line
of flavor. It's lithe and cool, as if morning
light ripened the fruit to a blackberry sheen
while shadowy late afternoons drew in savory
green peppercorn and Douglas fir aromas.
Splash it in a decanter and it's ready to drink

$45

2011 Sonoma Coast Estate Vineyard
Syrah ^ This cool-vintage coastal syrah smells
fantastic, combining the zestiness of green
peppercorn, the brightness of rose petals
and a deeper umami note that suggests dried
shiitake. It's lithe and spicy, just the thing for
grilled merguez sausage. (W&S 8/16; 180
cases) § Baker Lane Vineyards, Santa Rosa, CA
447157

2013 Edna Valley Sonnie's Sawyer
Lindquist Vineyard Syrah ^ Cooler vintages
have shown this vineyard's coastal side,
whereas 2013 infuses some inland warmth
in the wine's supple, appealing texture. The
flavors are completely savory, bringing to
mind tobacco and black olive as much as
black plum. It's a rich, loamy red to match
with roasted goat. (W&S 10/16; 280 cases) §
Qupé Wine Cellars, Santa Maria, CA
443956

443537

92 | Dutton-Goldfield

91 | Baker Lane

2014 Yorkville Highlands Les Voisins
Syrah ^ From three Yorkville Highlands
vineyards planted on schist, this is a compact
syrah, its deep blue fruit juicy in its ripeness,
with tannins as gripping as chokecherry skin.
Hints of green olive and white-peppercorn
spice place it with a lamb burger. (490 cases) §
Copain Wines, Healdsburg, CA
445750

446114

91 | Apsara

the wine shows more nuance: bright acidity,
cracked peppercorn spice, generous flavors
of smoked meat and olive that last against
a stony backdrop of structure. It's not a shy
syrah, but if you decant it, you'll have a
substantial, satisfying red. (487 cases) § Zaca
Mesa Winery, Los Olivos, CA
443639

447128

91 | Zaca Mesa


https://www.apsaracellars.com/products/syrah-las-madres-vineyard-2014 https://www.duttongoldfield.com/xe/xe.asp?page=viewitem&p=913&cat=currentreleases http://www.zacamesa.com/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Wine & Spirits - February 2017

Contents
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - Cover1
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - Cover2
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 1
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 2
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 3
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 4
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - Contents
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 6
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 7
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 8
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 9
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 10
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 11
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 12
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 13
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 14
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 15
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 16
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 17
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 18
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 19
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 20
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 21
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 22
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 23
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 24
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 25
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 26
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 27
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 28
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 29
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 30
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 31
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Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 33
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 34
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 35
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 36
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 37
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 38
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Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 40
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 41
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 42
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 43
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Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 45
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Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 48
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 49
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 50
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 51
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Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 56
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 57
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Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 63
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Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 65
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Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 67
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Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 69
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 70
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 71
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 72
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 73
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Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 76
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 77
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 78
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Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 86
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 87
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - 88
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - Cover3
Wine & Spirits - February 2017 - Cover4
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