Home | Recent Tastings | Wine Touring | Cellars | What's New

by Tom Hill

A self-admitted wine geek, Tom lives in Northern New Mexico and works as a computational physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory doing numerical neutron transport & large scale code development. He has been tasting wines since 1971, participates locally with a couple of large tasting groups in his area, and is practically a fixture at most California wine festivals, such as the Hospice du Rhône, Rhône Rangers, and ZAP. Other interests: Tom is heavily into competitive sport fencing (foil & epee), biking, cooking, basketball, skiing, backpacking, mountain climbing.

Some Grenache/PetiteSirah/Syrah - October 3, 2007


We tasted tonight (10/3/07) some Some New Grenache/PetiteSirah/Syrah :

  1. EaglepointRanchWnry Grenache MendocinoCnty (14.2%; www.EaglepointRanch.com) 2006: Med.light color; lovely juicy/strawberry/Grenache perfumey/fragrant loads of vibrant fruit nose; tart slightly bitter bright/cherry/strawberry/Alpinestrawberry/Grenache/sour cherry loads of high-toned/vibrant fruit/Nehi strawberry soda pop flavor;med.long bit bitter bright/juicy/Alpine strawberry/Grenache finish w/ light tannins; a slightly bitter edge on front of palate but bright/neon pink strawberry fruit; very easy drinking. $20.00
  2. NaggiarVnyds SierraFoothills Mistoro (66% Sangiovese, 33% Syrah; 300 cs; 14.4%;
    www.NaggiarVineyards.com) 2004
    : Med.color; some Am.oak somewhat dusty/earthy/mushroomy
    some bright/cherry/Sangio nose; tart bright/cherry/Sangio slight berry bit earthy/dusty some toasty/oak flavor; med.long bright/cherry/Sangio some oak bit earthy/dusty some hard/tannic finish; speaks mostly of Sangio and the Syrah seems to take off the usual hard edge of Sangio on the palate; interesting low-key terroir-driven Sangio. $21.00
  3. EaglepointRanchWnry PetiteSirah MendocinoCnty (14.7%; www.EaglepointRanch.com) 2005: Very dark/black color; bit earthy/mushroomy/tomatoey some boysenberry/blackberry/ peppery/PS bit rustic nose; soft ripe/boysenberry/blackberry/PS light earthy/tomatoey rather
    hard/tannic/rough flavor; long rather rough/hard/tannic fairly ripe/blackberry/boysenberry/PS bit earthy finish; needs 2-6 yrs; good fruit on palate and speaks of Mendo. $26.00
  4. Carlisle DryCreekVlly PetiteSirah (15.1%; 124 cs; 60% DelCarloRanch,40% TeldeschiRanch;
    U/U; Drk: 2007-2027) 2005
    : Black color; very intense licorice/boysenberry/spicy/slight peppery/ PS huge fruit slight toasty/oak nose; huge/intense boysenberry/blackberry/PS/licorice slight pungent/tarry rather tannic/hard slight taosty/oak flavor; very long/tannic boysenberry/blackberry/ PS/licorice finish; huge/extracted PS fruit but tannic & structured for the ages; stunning rendition of PS. $34.00
  5. ChatterCreek Syrah LonesomeSpringRanch/YakimaVlly (13.8%; www.ChatterCreek.com)
    : Dark/black color; ripe boysenberry/Syrah bit peppery/roasted/pungent light Fr.oak rather ripe/overripe nose; soft/fat light boysenberry/Syrah bit flat/porky light toasty/oak flavor; med.short soft/fat/porky very ripe/boysenberry/Syrah light toasty/oak finish w/little tannins; a very ripe PillsburyDoughBoy Syrah w/ little WashState character and devoid of structure. $17.00
  6. NaggiarVnyds SierraFoothills Syrah (14.5%; 700 cs;www.NaggiarVineyards.com) 2003: Very
    dark color; slight SO2/funky rather closed/tight bit earthy/mushroomy some blackberry/Syrah slight herbal rather unusual nose more expressive of terroirthan Syrah; soft rather earthy/dusty slight blackberry/Syrah low fruit bit bitter/astringent somewhat rustic flavor;med.long bit tannic/ rough/rustic earthy/herbal slight blackberry/Syrah finish;an interesting rendition of Syrah that's a bit on the strange side. Fairly priced at $19.00
  7. EaglepointRanchWnry Syrah MendocinoCnty (14.4%; www.EaglepointRanch.com) 2005: Very dark/black color; lovely very spicy/blackberry/Syrah slight herbal somewhat peppery/roasted/
    Rhonish fragrant nose; tart lovely blackberry/Syrah/very spicy some peppery/Rhonosh/roasted
    light toasty/oak flavor; very long strong/blackberry/Syrah slight earthy/tomatoey fairly tannic finish; needs several yrs; loads of Syrah character and some of that Mendocino terroir coming thru; very attractivly priced at $22.00
  8. Cabot Syrah KlamathRvr/HumboltCnty (14.5%; 100 cs; www.CabotVineyards.com) 2004: Very dark color; unusual minerally/ozone/carbon arc/WWII beacon somewhat earthy/dusty some blackberry/Syrah/bosenberry interesting/unusual nose; tart rather herbal/dusty/earthy some blackberry/boysenberry/Syrah minerally flavor; med.long minerally/earthy bit tannic/hard some
    blackberry/Syrah finish; needs a yr or three; very terroir-driven Syrah. Fairly priced at $20.00
  9. Cabot Syrah KlamathRvr/HumboltCnty Kimberly's (14.5%; 100 cs) 2004: Dark/black color; much stronger blackberry/ripe/Syrah slight boysenberry some roasted/peppery/cold-climate slight
    toasty/oak some minerally nose; tart rather earthy/dusty/terroir-driven/minerally ripe/ blackberry/ Syrah rather rough/tannic some roasted/toasty/pungent fairly complex flavor; long tannic/rough rather ripe/blackberry/Syrah some roasted/pungent/earthy bit complex finish; lots of minerally/ terroir-driven character w/ lots of ripe/Syrah fruit; very interesting Syrah; very fairly priced at $28.00
  10. Cabot Syrah KlamathRvr/HumboltCnty Reed's (14.5%; 50 cs) 2004: Dark/black color; bit more
    ripe/blackberry/Syrah/boysenberry some Rhonish/roasted light toasty/oak bit minerally nose;
    rather ripe/blackberry/Syrah/chocolaty bit hard/tannic/minerally/earthy slight toasty/oak flavor; long rather tannic/hard ripe/blackberry/boysenberry/Syrah light some minerally/Rhonish/roasted finish; needs several yrs; very terroir-driven; lots of ripe Syrah fruit w/ an underlying hard/tannic character; fairly priced at $32.00
  11. FlyingWineCellars Syrah WhiteHawkVnyd/SBC (14.8%; www.FlyingWine.com) 2005: Very dark color; very unusual herbal/Cab-like minerally very spicy/blackberry/Syrah strong toasty/oak
    some peppery/roasted/Rhonish nose; rich/lush bit herbal/green olive very blackberry/Syrah slight ripe/chocolaty some toasty/charred/oak rather Rhonish/roasted/peppery flavor; very long slight herbal/green olive ripe/blackberry/Syrah/peppery some tannic finish; needs several yrs; interesting herbal/green olive character w/ ripe Syrah fruit & some Rhonish character; lovely/interesting Syrah. $42.00
  12. Arcadian Syrah StarLaneVnyd/SantaYnezVlly (14.5%; RobertFlemingCuvee) 2003: Very dark/black color; big/ripe/lush very blackberry/Syrah/boysenberry slight chocolaty very fragrant/
    perfumed/floral/aromatic almost Pinotish very pretty nose; strong bright/high-toned very floral/ perfumed/cherry/Pinotish spicy/blackberry/Syrah light toasty/oak very perfumed flavor; long very perfumed/floral/cherry/Pinotish bright/blackberry/Syrah light toasty/charred/oak finish w/ modest tannins; lots of perfumed/aromatic character; rather Pinotish Syrah much like the Radio-Coteaus; lovely wine but a bit pricey at $53.00
  13. LostCanyon Syrah TrentonStationVnyd/RRV (14.2%;www.LostCanyonWinery.com; <400 cs)
    : Very dark/black color; strong toasty/oak ripe/blackberry/Syrah/spicy some Zin-like/peppery bit simple nose; soft/smooth straightforward RRV/peppery/spicy/blackberry/Syrah rather toasty/oak flavor; simple/earthy/peppery rather toasty/oak some spicy/blackberry/ Syrah finish w/ light tannins; a bit simple RRV Syrah and pretty pricey at $42.00
  14. LostCanyon Syrah StageGulchVnyd/SonomaCoast (14.1%; <375 cs) 2005: Dark color; very
    strong toasty/pungent/charred/Fr.oak/Burgundian quite spicy/peppery/Syrah/blackberry some green olive/herbal rather Rhonish nose; tart somewhat green olive/herbal pungent/toasty/Fr.oak/charred some roasted/peppery/blackberry/Syrah flavor;long charred/toasty/oak some herbal/green olive/roasted/Rhonish some blackberry/Syrah finish w/ modest tannins; needs yr or two; interesting Syrah but a bit pricey at $42.00

And the usual pompous prononcements from TheBloodyPulpit:

1. Naggiar: These wines first popped onto my radar when a friend mentioned that they sold
grapes, Rhones I believe, to RayCoursen/Elyse. Don't see a lot of wines from NevadaCnty, so thought I'd take them for a test drive. I think they'd be better served by using the NevadaCnty appellation, rather than the SierraFoothills one. I generally liked both of these two wines. They certainly reminded me more of ElDorado wines than of ShenandoahVlly/
Amador wines, with the somewhat earthy/dusty slight mushroomy character. And very fairly
priced I thought. Have yet to try their Viognier.
2. Eaglepoint: Another great trio from CaseyHartlip. The Grenache was pretty typical in its
bright/forward/lush/juicy Grenache character; though some of my tasters thought it a bit too bitter on the palate. I didn't find that objectionable. The PS is a pretty hulking brute of a wine and hard to tell where it's going. But the Syrah was far my favorite of the triad; loads of Syrah fruit, great structure, slight Rhonish character, taste of Mendocino; and very attractively priced. Musta been a farmer on a tractor somewhere behind those wines.
3. Cabot: First came across these wines when John Cabot posted to Case 2007 Harvest thread and I noticed he was a grower in HumboltCnty. HumboltCnty?? That's a strange place to be growing grapes. So I inquired about his wines and ordered a passel to try. That way I
could brag that I followed them from the very start. I, in general, liked these Syrahs quite a lot, particularly the Kimberely's. The regular Syrah was a pretty hard/tannic/tight wine, but all three had an interesting minerality that I can only surmise is HumboltCnty terroir and rather cold-climate in character. They reminded me a bit in flavor profile of Oltrepo Bonarda or Friuli
Refosco, with a certain lushness up front and a hard structure underneath. Definitely a wnry
I'm going to be keeping my eye upon. Located in Orleans, betwixt Eureka and Redding and half-way to the Oregon border, not too far from the RougueRiver appellation I guess. Looks to be pretty far out in the sticks and probably an interesting area to visit. Hope to make it up there for a visit sometime next year.
4. FlyingWineCellars: This was a sample btl sent me by Marilyn Sherman, who makes the wine
up at CrushPad in SanFrancisco. She being from SanDiego. A pretty impressive first effort.
5. LostCanyon: I generally liked these two Syrahs, though thought them a bit on the pricey
side. The TrentonStation, from a block in the SarahLee's vnyd, was pretty straightforward
RRV Syrah and not that interesting. The StageCoach, from over in the PetalumaGap, was far
the more interesting of the two.


<< back to TomHill archive

Home | Top of page | Recent Tastings

Copyright © 1996 - 2007, Tom Hill - All rights reserved
No original material may be reproduced without written consent
Mail & Comments
- Grape-Nutz