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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.

2005 Novy Syrahs - October 8, 2008


We tasted last week (10/08/08) all (I think) of the '05 Novy Syrahs :

  1. Novy Grenache JudgeFamilyVnyd/BennettVlly (14.1%; 234 cs) 2005: Med.dark color; rather strong toasty/oak bright/zippy/Grenache/strawberry bit alcoholic nose; tart bright strawberry/Grenache some toasty/charred/oak flavor; med.long tart bright/strawberry/Grenache finish w/ light tannins; a fair amount of oak but lots of pretty/bright/vibrant Grenache fruit underneath; very pretty/drinkable Grenache. $21.00
  2. Novy Syrah NapaVlly (15.1%; Page-NordVnyd; 367 cs) 2005: Dark color; rather toasty/oak light blackberry/Syrah bit simple nose; soft/pleasant blackberry/Syrah some toasty/oak bit alcoholic flavor; med. pleasant/simple blackberry/Syrah finish w/light tannins; a bit on the simple side but pleasant and a very good price. $19.00
  3. Novy Syrah RussianRvrVlly (14.5%) 2005: Med.dark color; rather strong blackberry/Syrah some
    spicy/pepper/black pepper light toasty/oak lovely nose; soft lush peppery/light cracked black pepper strong blackberry/Syrah light toasty/oak flavor; med.long light tannic black pepper/blackberry/Syrah light toasty finish; lovely Syrah w/ nice low-key cracked black pepper character; very good Syrah for the price. $21.50
  4. Novy Syrah SantaLuciaHighlands (14.5%) 2005: Dark color; very lush ripe blackberry/blueberry/Syrah bit licorice/Oz-like slight herbal nose; tart very lush/blackberry/blueberry/Syrah light licorice/herbal grapefruity/tangy flavor; long slight tangy/grapefruit herbal/licorice/blueberry/Syrah w/ light tannins; slight herbal character
    speaks of SLH; a very attractive Syrah at a great price. $21.50
  5. Novy Syrah Page-NordVnyd/NapaVlly (15.2%) 2005: Med.dark color; attractive blackberry/Syrah some spicy/almost Zin-like fairly intense nose; bit alcoholic bright/berry/blackberry/Syrah slight briary/Zin-like soft/lush flavor; long bit tannic slight alcoholic strong blackberry/Syrah/briary finish; needs several yrs; a sort of 4-Square/blocky kind of Syrah w/not a lot of distinguishing character. Good value at $26.00
  6. Novy Syrah SimpsonVnyd/DryCreekVlly (14.1%; 49 cs) 2005: Dark color; bright very spicy
    blackberry/Syrah/black cherry bit peppery quite fragrant/perfumed lovely nose; tart bit pencilly/cedary/oak some cracked black pepper very spicy/briary/black cherry/blackberry/Syrah flavor; med.long tart light cracked black pepper spicy/briary/blackberry/Syrah finish w/ some tannins; needs several yrs; one of the best DCV Syrahs
    I've had and shows some cold-climate/black pepper character. Great price. $23.50
  7. Novy Syrah AmberRidgeVnyd/RRV (14.1%; 117 cs) 2005: Dark color; strong cracked black pepper spicy/blackberry/Syrah light toasty/oak aromatic/perfumed talc almost Pinotish nose; tart some cracked black pepper/blackberry/Syrah very perfumed/aromatic/spicy flavor; long bit tannic very perfumed/aromatic cracked black pepper blackberry/Syrah/spicy finish; needs several yrs yet; a lovely/elegant very perfumed Syrah at a great
    price. $22.00
  8. Novy Syrah ChristensenFamilyVnyd/RRV (14.1%; 278 cs) 2005: Dark color; very strong blackberry/
    Syrah/black cherry very perfumed/aromatic almost Siduri Pinot-like nose; tart/tannic/structured rather cedary/ pencilly/oak/toasty bright/spicy/black cherry/blackberry rather Siduri Pinot-like flavor; long bit tannic/hard perfumed/black cherry/Syrah rather smokey/toasty/oak/pencilly finish; needs several yrs yet; lots of aromatics
    and very structured; tastes like a Syrah made by a Siduri Pinot producer. Excellent Syrah at a great price. $23.50
  9. Novy Syrah JudgeFamilyVnyd/BennettVlly (14.1%) 2005: Very dark/black color; beautiful roasted/ charred/pungent/smokey/espresso strong blackberry/Syrah/peppery very Rhonish/roasted complex nose; tart charred/burnt oak quite Rhonish/roasted/espresso/pungent strong blackberry/Syrah flavor; very long charred/smokey/oak Rhonish/roasted strong herbal/Syrah/blackberry some tannic complex finish; tastes like a Novy Syrah made by Pax Mahle; terrific very Rhonish Syrah; my favorite of the lot at a terrific price. $25.00
  10. Novy Syrah Susan'sHillVnyd/SantaLuciaHighlands (14.5%) 2005: Very dark/black color; very strong herbal/lush/boysenberry/blueberry/Syrah very perfumed/aromatic huge fruit nose; tart very rich/lush/mouthfilling boysenberry/blackberry/Syrah rather herbal/perfumed flavor; very long perfumed/aromatic boysenberry/herbal/ Syrah/chocolaty finish w/ modest tannins; shows that SLH herbal character; huge fruit almost Oz/ChesterOsborne
    in style.
  11. Novy Syrah Rosella'sVnyd/SantaLuciaHighlands (14.1%; 358 cs) 2005: Very dark color; very herbal/green walnut strong blackberry/Syrah slight dusty/earthy complex nose; tart green olive/walnutty/herbal strong blackberry/Syrah/boysenberry light toasty/oak flavor; long green walnut/herbal/green olive lush blackberry/ boysenberry/Syrah light toasty/oak finish w/ some tannins; seems less ripe than the other three SLH; complex
    interesting Syrah w/lots of SLH/herbal character; great price at $25.50
  12. Novy Syrah Garys'Vnyd/SLH (14.6%) 2005: Very dark/black color; very exotic boysenberry/ blackberry/ Syrah/chocolaty slight herbal very cedary/toasty/oak complex nose; tart somewhat tannic light herbal strong boysenberry/blackberry/Syrah some toasty/cedary/oak almost Oz-like flavor; very long somewhat tannic light herbal strong boysenberry/blueberry/Syrah some cedary/oak complex finish; needs some age; very interesting
    Syrah at a great price. $26.00
  13. Novy NapaVlly Syrah (15.7%) 2002: Dark color; some toasty/oak ripe/blackberry/Syrah slight cedary/aged nose; soft some tannic/dried out spicy/blackberry/Syrah some cedary/oak flavor; med. spicy/blackberry/Syrah some cedary/toasty/oak bit tannic/dried out finish; not a lot of development and probably going nowhere from here; Costigan mystery.
  14. Novy Oley DessertWine (8.2%; 100% Viognier; RS: 24%) 2006: Med/light gold color; very ripe/pineapply/ peach/canned peaches some overripe almost muscatty nose; very soft/fat quite sweet very ripe/peachy/canned peach syrup flavor; med.long soft/fat/porky very ripe pineapply/canned peaches overripe finish; lots of very
    ripe/overripe character; a Pillsbury DoughBoy kind of dessert wine. $14.00/hlf

And the usual rantings from TheBloodyPulpit:

1. For awhile now, I've found two regions that I thought were Syrah underperformers: Napa (upValley) and DryCreekVlly. There are only a few (upValley) Napa Syrahs I think are really great, the Lagier-Meredith easily being my favorite, closely followed by the Rocca. Many taste like Syrahs made by a Cabernet producer; tarted up w/ a lot of new/toasty Fr.oak. Those that are not, just seem to be a bit on the simple
side...pleasant blackberry fruit, but not a whole lot of interest. That was true of Adam's Napa Syrahs here. Not bad Syrahs, but nothing in them really resonated with me. OTOH, I find many of the DryCreekVlly Syrahs a bit more interesting, but they often show a lot of that spicy Zinberry character and remind me more of (good) Zin than they do of Syrah. There are exceptions, of course. And this SimpsonVnyd Syrah was one such. It's (and the Carlisles) one of the best DCV Syrahs I've had. This was as impressive a Syrah tasting as we've had in some time. The Syrahs were all very distinctive in character. I think Adam's Syrahs are every bit the equal of his Pinots. And very reasonably priced. His Syrahs have a distinctive perfumed/aromatic character, maybe from his Pinot background..I don't know. But I don't think Adam gets the recognition
in Calif for the Syrahs he makes, which I think are pretty much the equal of anybody's.


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