- Viking Estate.Very shoe polishy in the nose, with a tasty
but tart mouthfeel and long finish. Aroma/Taste: B/B
-Viking Estate. A bit more fruity and somewhat sweeter in both
nose and mouth, with a long slightly overipe finish. Aroma/Taste:
Stemmy and and still fruity nose, with a nicely balanced mouthfeel,
plenty of fruit, and a nice aftertaste. Aroma/Taste: B/B+
Huge blackberry nose, with a rubbery and shoe polishy background
note. Kind of gamy, yet fruity on the palate, long finish. Aroma/Taste:
Light pineapple and peach fruit with the suggestion of pecan. A
bit lean on the palate, yet with a tasty mouthfeel, but seems a
bit hot through medium finish. Aroma/Taste: B/B
Stemmy blackberry nose. A bit bitter in mouthfeel, with a stemmy
long finish. Aroma/Taste: B/B
Nice moderately fruity nose, with blackberry and some gamey notes.
Good balance, good fruit, medium-long finish. Aroma/Taste: B+/B
Fascinating nose of chocolate, smoke and meat. Somewhat gamey in
mouthfeel, with an obvious red meat Mouvedre streak, touch of oak,
and long finish. Geez, why're they hiding this? Aroma/Taste: B+/B+
- Signet. Nice blackberry and toast nose. Medium bodied, with
a balance to the acid side of the equation. Aroma/Taste: B/B
Fruit bomb of a nose and mouth, juicy and chewy with a long finish.
- Alban Selection, Purisma Mtn. Wow! Sweet nose and mouth, lots
of raspberry-blackberry fruit, anise, and tar. Long tasty finish.
- California. Meaty and musky in the nose. Medium-full body,
slightly sweet blackberry-raspberry fruit, long finish. Aroma/Taste:
- Central Coast. Nose of sweet anise and blackberry. Full body,
lightly chewy and sweet, long fruity finish. Aroma/Taste: B+/B+
- Tempesquet Vnyd. Nose of game, blackberry, minerals, and rubber.Very
tasty mouthfeel, though the fruit falls off just a bit early on
the finish. Aroma/Taste: B+/B+
- Sonoma Co. Fascinating nose of blackberry, tarragon, rubber,
shoe polish, and a hint of matchstick. Delicious mouthfeel, chewy,
somewhat sweet fruit, lots of grip on the palate, with a light cinnamon
sugar conetaste to the fruity finish. Holy smokes, Batman! If the
matchstick dissapates, this one's a stone killer. Aroma/Taste: A-/A
- Fair Play. Big spiced blackberry nose, with a chewy mouthfeel
and long finish. Originally a a wine that started out with very
nice structure and moderate weight, then started bulking up and
has fleshed out fabulously. Aroma/Taste: A-/A-
- Fair Play. Abundant raspberry fruit and toast in the nose
are very nice, but give no nint to the surprisingly chewy mouthfeel
and long finish. This has fleshed out even better than the Syrah,
and is my candidate for the Grenache Enfant Terrible of the tasting.
- Blewitt Springs. Nose of chocolate and raspberry. Tasty raspberry
fruit, very good balance, long tannic finish. Aroma/Taste: A-/A-
Surprisingly veggie in the nose, with obvious snow pea and green
bean. Nice blackberry fruit on the palate, but the green component
still creeps through. Aroma/Taste: B/B
Nose of green bean and snow pea, with some background fruit. Moderately
fruity mouthfeel, medium finish, with hints of green veggies. Now
if you want a Shiraz to go with that stir fry.... Aroma/Taste: B/B
- Shell Creek. Gamey and varnishy in the nose. Sweet and tasty
mouthfeel, hint of acids at mid palate, with major extraction BBQ-like
flavors and tannins on the latter palate and finish. Certainly different,
yet I cannot look away. Aroma/Taste: B/B+
- Ambassador Vnyd.Very nice nose of blackberry, roast beef,
and smoke. A bit tart and lean on the palate, moderate finish. This
vineyard's a bit of a chameleon. A couple of other wineries bottle
this Syrah, and I always find the nose outlasts the mouthfeel. Good
source for complex short-term-aging Syrah. Aroma/Taste: B+/B
- Harmon Vnyds, Santa Ynez. Very nice blackberry compote nose.
Buttery and smoky on the palate, with jammy fruit, and slightly
sweet finish. Quite a surprise. First use of this vineyard that
I'm aware of, and an impressive debut. Located near LinCourt and
Sunstone wineries. Aroma/Taste: A-/A-
Sirah - Estate. Lots of tar in the nose and mouth, but seems
tightly wound, and not much real fruit. Aroma/Taste: B/B
Sirah - Central Coast. Somewhat herbaceous and lettucey in the
nose, with tar and licorice background notes. Chewy mouthfeel, toasty
blackberry finish. Aroma/Taste: B+/B+
Sirah - Shell Creek. Nose of tar, asphalt, and licorice. Sweet
chewy mouthfeel, long finish. Aroma/Taste: B+/B+
Rotie. Very smoky and roasted nose, with somewhat charred wood
and meat flavors on the palate. Nice, but a little too "well-done"
for my tastes. Aroma/Taste: B+/B+
Hermitage. Roasted, smoky and a bit stemmy in the nose. Fruit
get a bit too sour from mid-palate onward, and finishes a bit brief
on fruit. Aroma/Taste: B+/B
La Terre Rouge
-Sentinental Oak Vnyd. Huge nose of sweet blackberry fruit and
stem. Chewy mouthfeel initially, but the fruit drops off a bit too
quickly in the otherwise tasty long finish. Aroma/Taste: B+/B
- Special Cuvee. Nose of sweet fruit, rose petal, violets, and
melted butter. Big chewy mouthfeel, tons of fruit, toasty tar and
anise flavored finish. Aroma/Taste: A-/A-
- Sentinental Oak Vnyd. Nice enough nose of blackberry jam,
but even better mouthfeel with lots of chewy fruit and a long finish.
- Amador. Beautiful nose of meaty and ripe raspberry-blackberry
fruit. Fleshy mouthfeel, lots of chewy fruit, but gets a bit hot
toward long finish. Aroma/Taste: B+/B
- Durell Vnyd.Nose of smoky game, blackberry and rubber. The
mouthfeel is running out of steam, but still some interesting light
blackberry and tar flavors left. Aroma/Taste: B+/B
- Durell Vnyd.Very similar to the '89 in profile, but there's
still a lot of life left in this nose. Bigger and more tannic in
the mouth, with lots of blackberry fruit, tar and a bit of gamey
quality. Aroma/Taste: B+/B+
Cote Sauvages. Lots of raspberry, ash, and toast in the nose.
Dusty on the palate, with a nice core of raspberry fruit, and a
tannic finish. Aroma/Taste: B/B
- Wylie Fenaughty. Nose is a dense mass of tar and licorice.
Thick and chewy on the palate, with big core of fruit, and long
anise-filled finish. Aroma/Taste: A-/A-
and Gravel. interesting nose of tar and licorice. Trading muscle
for grace, this one's a little easier on the palate that the Wylie,
with nice balance and core of fruit, and fabulously long finish
- Higher Ground. Nose of blackberry, tar, licorice and ink.
Huge chewy monster, you'll need a crowbar to pry your lips away
from your teeth. What hath Steve wrought? Aroma/Taste: B+/A-
- Command. Lots of blackberry, game, horse blanket, rubber and
barnyard in the nose. Somewhat sweet mouthfeel, with ripe blackberry,
caramel, and butterscotch flavors through long finish. Aroma/Taste:
- Napa. Nose of blackberry, toast, and a hint of tar. Very nice
balance, chewy mouthfeel, long mostly toasty finish. You'd think
the 3% Grenache would be barely noticable, but it adds a nice dimension.
- Old Yokayo. Smoky and fruity nose. Nicely balanced, tasty
acids and a ton of fruit, very long finish. Aroma/Taste: A-/A-
- Milovina Vnyd. Lovely, yet dense nose of blackberry and toast.
Huge, thick and chewy mouthfeel, fabulous balance, very long finish.
- Fanucchi Vnyd, Alexander Valley. Nose of blackberry, mushroom
and a touch of dill. Moderate body, decent fruit, long toasty finish.
- Meadow Vnyd, El Dorado. Nice bright spicy nose. Medium-full
blackberry fruit in mouthfeel, touch of cedar on long finish. Aroma/Taste:
- Morehouse Vnyd. Nose of blackberry, game, and toast. Some
spiciness in the blackberry fruit, with toast and slightly smoky
mouthfeel, long finish. Aroma/Taste: B+/B+
- Morehouse Vnyd. Nose of bacon fat, blackberry, and spice.
Mass of blackberry and blueberry fruit, with a toasty mouthfeel
and long finish. Aroma/Taste: A-/A-
Jeanne Marie. Slightly sweet nose of raspberry-blackberry fruit,
and cinnamon. Medium-full mouthfeel, very nice balance, black and
red fruit, and long tasty finish. Aroma/Taste: B+/A-
- Carhartt Vnyd. Very Albanesque in the nose, with tar, rubber,
and asphalt. Fullmouthfeel, flavors of bacon and tar, with a tasty
minerally finish. Aroma/Taste: A-/A-
- Isolation Ridge. Slight veggie components in nose, but still
nice. Surprisingly big and tannic mouthfeel, good balance, long
finish. Aroma/Taste: B/B
- Fralich Vnyd. Sweet and slightly oaky and rubbery nose. Sweet
mouthfeel, tasty fruit, long licorice-laced finish. Aroma/Taste:
- Fralich Vnyd.Similar in profile to the '99, the '00 has a
little less rubber-tar components and more blackberry fruit. Very
nicely balanced fruit and acids, long toasty finish. Aroma/Taste:
- Aisling. Nice sweet jammy blackberry nose. Big brooding mouthfeel,
a bit stern, but with lots of black fruit and tar, leading up a
long finish. Aroma/Taste: B+/B+
- Bassetti Vnyd.Interesting spiced gamey and oaky nose. Tasty
blackberry flavors, obvious oak, and a bit of tar and licorice through
long finish. Aroma/Taste: B+/B+
- The Bishop. Nose of blackberry, spice, smoke and toast. Tasty
mouthfeel, somewhat thick and chewy, with a minty quality to the
fruit and finish. Aroma/Taste: A-/A-
Rotie. Lots of smoke and roasted meats, that seem a bit one-dimensional.
Moderate mouthfeel, toasted and roasted fruits, with an ashen quality
to the finish. Aroma/Taste: B/B
Nose of blackberry and Marischino cherry, with a light smoky quality.
Nice mouthfeel, good fruit and balance, long finish. Aroma/Taste:
du Pape - La de Ma Mere. Nicely balanced nose of toast and fruit.
Moderately full mouthfeel, smooth and seductive, long slightly sweet
finish. Much more impressive this time out, over previous tastings.
- Carneros. Nice blackberry compote fruit, but also very floral
and buttery in the nose. Sweet, slightly stemmy mouthfeel, nice
ripeness and balance, long finish. More lush and fleshy, than muscular.
- L'Oizeau. Attractive nose, with a light impression of beet
. Full mouthfeel, nice fruit, long very ripe blackberry-boysenberry
fruit-infused finish. Aroma/Taste: B+/B+
d'Orange - Virginia. Light-medium extraction, and the wine is
getting quite amber in color. Moderately effusive fruity nose, with
a surprising amount of fruity flavors left. Nice. Aroma/Taste: B/B+
- Alban. Big nose of raspberry-blackberry fruit. Slightly tart
in mouthfeel, big and chewy texture, very long finish. Aroma/Taste:
- Ventana Vnyd, Monterey. Sweet blackberry nose, with a stemmy
background note. Full mouthfeel, somewhat chewy fruit, lots of fruit,
with a bit of stem and licorice, long finish. Aroma/Taste:
- Rodney's Vnyd, Santa Barbara. Sweet nose of blackberry-boysenberry
fruit, with a hint of cinnamon. Full sweet mouthfeel, lots of black
plum-boysenberry fruit, and chewy long finish. This is one of Fess
Parker's Vnyds. Aroma/Taste: A-/A-
- Philary Vnyd, Napa. Complex smoky nose of blackberry and bacon
fat. Delicious mouthfeel, chewy textures, long finish and really
nice aftertaste. Aroma/Taste: A-/A-
Sirah - Frrediani Vnyd, Napa. Dense nose of dark fruits, toast,
and spiced wood aftershave. Heavy mouthfeel, flavors of tar, licorice,
and sweet dark-fruited jam, long finish. Aroma/Taste: B+/B+
- Bien Nacido Vnyd. Beautiful smoky nose. Medium-full mouthfeel,
slightly spicy and smoky fruit, long tasty finish. Aroma/Taste:
- Stolpman Vnyd. Somewhat stemmy blueberry-blackberry nose.
Nice mouthfeel, a little tangy on the back end due to its youth,
and a rich long finish. Aroma/Taste: B+/B+
- Stolpman Vnyd. Nice raspberry-black cherry nose. Seems a bit
light on the palate at present. Good flavor profile, and long finish.
- Bien Nacido Vnyd. Lightly smoky blackberry-blueberry nose.
Moderate-full mouthfeel, fruit seems a bit tart from mid-palate
onward, long finish. Aroma/Taste: B+/B
1995 Clarendon Hills - Blewitt Springs
1997 Wira Wira - Allawah
2000 Terre Rouge Syrah - Special Cuvee
1999 Edmunds St John- Wylie Fenaughty
1997 Edmunds St John- Higher Ground
1996 Elderton Shiraz - Command
1998 Fife - Old Yokayo
2000 Fife - Milovina Vnyd
1999 Foxen - Carhartt Vnyd
1998 Guigal CdP - La de Ma Mere
1999 J.C. Cellars - Philary Vnyd, Napa
1997 Jaffurs - Bien Nacido Vnyd
Novy - Page-Nord Vnyd
1999 Novy - Garys' Vnyd.
Linne Calodo Syrah/Grenache/Mourvedre - James Berry
2000 Linne Calodo Syrah/Mourvedre - Bone Rock.
- South Ridge. Somewhat stemmy blackberry nose, with a gamey
background note. Very tasty mouthfeel, exellent balance, long finish.
- San Luis Obispo. Nose of jammy blackberry fruit, with a sweet
toasty and slightly stemmy quality. Nice chewy mouthfeel, excellent
balance, and long finish. Aroma/Taste: B+/B+
- Bone Rock. Big ripe nose of blackberry, smoke and meat. Chewy
mouthfeel, lots of meaty flavors, long finish. Aroma/Taste: B+/A-
- James Berry. Beautiful fruity and floral nose, with toasty
meat aromas. Very chewy mouthfeel, lots of fruit, a touch of bacon
fat, very long off-sweet finish. Aroma/Taste: A-/A-
Red. Dense fruity and slightly floral nose. Young astringent
mouthfeel, tart pomegranete flavor, long finish. Aroma/Taste:
- Bone Rock. Ripe nose of cassis, clove, meat, and smoke. Big
mouthfeel, delicious slightly candied flavors, very long finish.
Red. Nose of ripe berry, cheese, and banana. Puckery and astringent
mouthfeel, sweetens up at mid-palate, then sours up a bit on long
finish. Aroma/Taste: B+/B
- Mendocino. Gamey and floral, with a touch of stem in the nose.
Very nice fruit and mouthfeel, chewy texture, long finish, delicious
aftertaste. Aroma/Taste: B+/B+
- Barossa Valley. Big beautiful nose of boysenberry-blackberry,
toast, and hints of tar and licorice. Substantial mouthfeel, lots
of tasty fruit, long spicy finish. Aroma/Taste: A-/A-
- Barossa Valley. (barrel sample) Nose of raspberry-boysenberry
fruit, toast and spice. Sweet mouthfeel, spicy somewhat bright fruit,
long finish. Aroma/Taste: B+/B+
- Hammer. Big blackberry and black cherry-scented nose. Huge
mouthfeel, lots of black cherry-blackberry flavors, and long finish.
76% Syrah, 19% CS, 5% CF. Aroma/Taste: A-/A-
- Monterey. Nice ripe peppery nose, with a bit of leaf and olive
in the background. Spicy and peppery on the palate, with a touch
of stem, plenty of ripe fruit, and a long tasty finish. Aroma/Taste:
- Monterey. Big dense nose of blackberry, tar, asphalt, licorice,
and rubber. Almost Petite Sirah-like initially, more flavors develop
at mid-palate, and the wine finishes out with fruit, tar and licorice
flavors through long finish. Aroma/Taste: A-/B+
Slight chocolate quality to the raspberry-boysenberry nose. Somewhat
meaty on the palate, with good fruit, a touch of cocoa, very nice
balance, and a long finish. Aroma/Taste: B+/B+
Sweet ripe raspberry-pomegranete nose. Medium-full mouthfeel, sweet
high-toned raspberry fruit, long finish. Aroma/Taste: B+/B+
Nose has hints of rubber and tar in a sea of jammy blackberry. Ripe
and spicy mouthfeel, with a toasty and vanilla-flavored core of
fruit and tar, and long finish. Aroma/Taste: A-/A-
- Garys' Vnyd. Nose of blackberry, tar, and licorice, with a
hint of rubber. Big and sweet mouthfeel, very open and accessible,
lot of ripe fruit and spice, toasty smooth, silky finish. Aroma/Taste:
- Napa. Big nose of black fruit, chocolate, with hints of rubber
and tar. Very chewy mouthfeel, lots of fruit, spice, toast, and
licorice, with a massive sweet finish. Aroma/Taste: A-/A-
- Page-Nord Vnyd. Incredible nose of blackberry-blueberry jam,
spices, floral notes, and licorace. Big mouthfeel, smooth yet massive
on fruit and tannins, very concentrated flavors, and very long smooth
finish. Aroma/Taste: A/A-
- Page-Nord Vnyd. (barrel sample) Lots of blueberry and blackberry
fruit, toast and spice in the nose. Chewy mouthfeel, slightly spritzy
across the palate, tight young fruit, long finish. Aroma/Taste:
- Sauber Vnyd, El Dorado. Average nose of blackberry and toast.
Sweet mouthfeel, medium-full body, long finish. Aroma/Taste: B/B+
- El Dorado. Accessible, but seems a bit underripe in the nose.
Slightly tart initially, but fruit sweetens up at the back end.
leading to long tasty finish. Aroma/Taste: B/B+
- St. Henri. Average nose of lightly spiced fruit. A bit drawn
in mouthfeel, with somewhat tart fruit and moderate finish. Aroma/Taste:
- Highland. Lightly spiced blackberry nose. High-toned puckery
and acidic mouthfeel, medium-long finish. Aroma/Taste: B/B
- Highland. Predominately raspberry scented nose, with a touch
of toast. A bit tart on the palate, with something of an acid bent
and a long finish. Aroma/Taste: B+/B
- Highland. Mostly tight nose of spicy raspberry-blackberry,
and oak. Nice off-sweet fruit, good balance, long finish. Aroma/Taste:
Predominance of green bean in the nose. A bit tannic and tart in
mouthfeel, long slighly pinched finish. Aroma/Taste: B/B
Interesting, if somewhat stinky nose of rubber band, tar and asphalt.
Average fruit and flavors, medium-long finish. Aroma/Taste: B/B
Attractive nose of stemmy and spicy cassis. Slightly chewy mouthfeel,
spicy sweet-sour fruit, long finish. Aroma/Taste: A-/B+
- AusVetia. Slightly veggie, yet appealing nose with celery
seed note in background. Tasty fruit, with flavors of raw meat and
licorice, and a long finish. Aroma/Taste: B+/A-
Nose of raspberry, black cherry and blueberry. Smooth and spicy
mouthfeel, medium-full body, nice balance, long finish. Aroma/Taste:
Ripe nose of sweet blueberry-blackberry fruit. Chewy mouthfeel,
very nice balance, long finish. Aroma/Taste: B+/B+
Ripe nose of blueberry, blackberry, toast, and floral notes. Ripe
sweet mouthfeel, very nice balance, tasty finish. Aroma/Taste: A-/B+
Fruity, if somewhat stinky nose of stagnant water and musty barrels.
Smooth mouthfeel, that tastes quite mature, long finish. Aroma/Taste:
Very ripe and burnished nose. Tasty mouthfeel, ripe, fabulous acids
and tannins, long finish. Aroma/Taste: B/B+
- Reserve. Bit of French stink to the nose, along with tar and
anise. Sweet mouthfeel, lots of blackberry, smoke and tar, with
a somewhat acidic finish. Aroma/Taste: B/B+
- Arroyo Vnyd. Gamey and mature nose of blackberry and stems.
Tasty somewhat chewy mouthfeel, flavors of blackberry, tar, asphalt,
with some stemmy and earthy notes. Aroma/Taste: B/B+
- Red Rock Vnyd. Slightly stemmy nose of blackberry, shoe polish,
and vanilla. Smooth mouthfeel, mature flavors, medium-long finish.
- Red Rock Vnyd.Stemmy blackberry-blueberry fruit, toast, and
vanilla. Full mouthfeel, nice fruit and balance, and long finish.
- 5 Star Reserve. Dense nose of blackberry, tar and rubber,
with very toasty background note. Chewy mouthfeel, inky flavors
through mid-palate, and a nice smooth sweet finish. Aroma/Taste:
Cuvee. Very dense and aromatic nose of blackberry, blueberry,
cranberry, with some toast and a bit of French stink. Full rich
mouthfeel, tasty ripe fruit, tannic yet smooth long finish. Aroma/Taste:
Nose of blackberry, and rubber, with a nice pine nut note. Nice
initially, but the acids seem to overcome the fruit from mid-palate
through finish. Aroma/Taste: B+/B
- Napa. Very nice nose of slightly floral and stemmy black fruit.
A bit weak on the palate, with a stemmy and thin blackberry taste
and medium-long finish. Aroma/Taste: B+/B
- Allawah. Hi-toned nose of raspberry-black cherry-boysenberry,
with a light varnishy note. Fabulous sweet big mouthfeel, long chewy
finish. Aroma/Taste: B+/A-
- Chook Block. Big spicy and fruity nose, with a toasty floral
background. Full, fleshy and smooth on the palate, with a long finish.
- RSW. Complex nose of blackberry, spice, toast, anise and rubber.
Bit tart and tight on mouthfeel, spicy core of fruit, long finish.
- RSW. Nose of tar, blackberry, tar, licorice, and tar. Ditto
in flavors with a nice chewy texture and long finish. Aroma/Taste:
- McLaren Vale.Fabulous nose of licorice, tar, blackberry compote,
and toast. Solid mouthfeel, chewy licorice and blackberry flavors,
long toasty finish. Wirra Wirra? Uh-huh, uh-huh! Aroma/Taste: A-/A
- Chapel Vnyd. Lightly stemmy raspberry-cranberry nose. A bit
stemmy on palate, moderate fruity flavors, long finish. Aroma/Taste:
- Chapel Vnyd. Nice and stinky nose of ripe berry, Ovaltine,
vitamins, old meat. Chewy texture, chocolaty-fruit flavor,with a
slight sweetness to the toasty finish. Aroma/Taste: B/B+
Nose of blackberry-raspberry, and licorice. Big young chewy mouthfeel,
lots of grainy fruit, very long off-sweet finish. Aroma/Taste: B+/A-