SYRAH, GRENACHE, VIOGNIER, ETC
- Item #: i_276190Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 98ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 98 POINTS - "These latest releases from Charles Smith check in at the top of the pyramid and are flat out incredible wines that I wish every reader could taste."
"A candidate for the wine of the vintage, the 2013 Syrah Royal City is as expansive, sexy and voluptuous as they get in the vintage, hands down. It's deep ruby/purple color is followed by incredible notes of wild herbs, lavender, gamey meats, olive paste and sweet dark berry fruits. Full-bodied, relatively forward and charming, it still packs a wealth of material and has building tannin, all suggesting it will drink nicely for 10-15 years."
- Item #: i_230220Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 98ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 98 POINTS - "The 2015 Syrah Sur Echalas Vineyard is just as striking as its Grenache sibling, unfurling with an equally complex nose of sweet cassis, beef blood, bitter cocoa, peony and violets, with notions of grilled meat and truffle emerging with time. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied and amazingly intense, with a deep and multidimensional core framed by remarkably satiny, layered tannins, concluding with a long, saline finish."
- Item #: i_230210Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 98ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 98 POINTS - "Of these three offerings from Horsepower, the 2015 Syrah The Tribe Vineyard will require the most time, as it's the most tight-knit at this early stage, slowly unwinding in the glass with savory aromas of raw cocoa, tapenade, nori and ripe blackberries. On the palate, it's full-bodied, deep and concentrated, with a rich chassis of satiny structuring tannins and a layered, umami-laden core of fruit. At 13.6% alcohol, it's also beautifully balanced."
- Item #: i_232480Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94Jeb Dunnuck: 99 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 99 POINTS - "It's always a fun tasting with winemaker Matt Dees and his team, and they continue to keep this estate at the top of the hierarchy in Santa Barbara County. Located in Ballard Canyon AVA, they pull only from their estate vineyard (planted on incredibly sandy soils) and make a wide range of cuvées, from a red and white Bordeaux blends, to a 100% Petit Verdot, Sangiovese and a number of terrific Rhône blends. The common thread is incredible quality."
"Unquestionably the star of the show is the 2014 La Sangre de Jonata, and it's a more finesse driven, elegant, cool climate example of the cuvee than normal. Reminding me of an Hermitage from Bessards, it offers gorgeous notes of blackberries, cassis, leather, scorched earth and pepper. Possessing full-bodied richness, firm, polished tannin and a focused finish, it will be more approachable that most vintage of this cuvee, yet I still wouldn't touch bottles for 3-5 years. If you must drink a bottle over the coming couple of years, give it a 2-hour decant."
- Item #: i_232210Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96Vinous Media: 97Jeb Dunnuck: 99 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 99 POINTS - "The 2016 La Sangre de Jonata (98% Syrah and 2% Viognier) is a beautiful follow on to the sensational 2015 and has a layered, multi-dimensional, massive profile. Blackcurrants, blackberries, lavender, bacon fat, and spring flower notes all flow to a seriously rich, powerful wine that stays light and graceful, with awesome tannin quality. It's another tour de force that reminds me of the 2007. It shuts down with extended air time (I followed this bottle for two days) and while it can certainly be enjoyed today, it won't hit prime time for another 4-6 years and should keep for two decades or more."
ANTONIO GALLONI 96+ POINTS - "The 2016 La Sangre de Jonata is a wine of real substance and depth. In 2016, the La Sangre is distinguished by its red fruit profile, freshness and vibrant, focused personality, all of which should allow it to age gracefully for a number of years. The 2016 is not as overt as some previous versions have been, but that is probably a very good thing for its longer term prospects. Time in the glass brings out the wine's underlying richness and pedigree."
- Item #: i_275850Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94-96Vinous Media: 96+ANTONIO GALLONI 94-97 POINTS - "The 2017 Syrah Hudson Vineyards is another glorious wine in this range. Rich and inky in the glass, the 2017 offers a compelling interplay of rich fruit allied to a vertical sense of structure. Dark red fruit, spice and floral notes are pushed forward, but it is the wine's total sense of poise that is most impressive today. Unctuous and full-throttle to the core, with head-spinning intensity and exceptional balance, the 2017 Syrah is shaping up to be an absolute jewel of a wine."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 94-96+ POINTS - "John Kongsgaard had finished harvest prior to the fires in 2017. While the Atlas Peak fire came dangerously close, the winery was spared and the vineyards received just minimal damage."
"A barrel sample, the deep purple-black colored 2017 Syrah Hudson Vineyard offers black cherries, raspberries, crushed blackberries and tar with hints of anise and a waft of wild thyme. Medium to full-bodied and packed with perfumed fruit, it has lovely rounded tannins and great freshness, finishing long."
- Item #: i_258900Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94-96Jeb Dunnuck: 97 PointsANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 97 POINTS - "According to Justin Smith, in 2016 'just about everything that could go right, did.' A relatively rainy winter helped boost groundwater supplies, and a warm spring set the stage for normal budbreak and fruit set, with no weather events to spoil the party. The summer was warm but not hot, and sugar levels rose steadily while acid levels held firm. The resulting wines are rich and fruit-driven, for sure, but they are remarkably fresh as well."
"Brilliant purple. A complex, intensely perfumed bouquet displays candied black and blue fruit, vanilla and musky earth qualities, while violet, licorice and dark chocolate nuances build in the glass. Sweet and expansive on the palate, offering impressively concentrated, mineral-laced cassis, cherry compote and fruitcake flavors that are given spicy bite by a peppery flourish. Tightens up slowly on a wonderfully long, chewy, floral-dominated finish that's framed by talc-y, well-knit tannins."
JEB DUNNUCK 97 POINTS - "Speaking about the 2016s, these are the strongest set of releases since the 2007s, and I suspect at maturity these wines will be even better. They have a rare sense of depth and richness paired with purity and precision, as well as singular characters, and these truly are special wines. The 2016 James Berry is quite possibly the greatest wine ever produced from the region and is a legendary wine in the making. Do whatever you can to latch onto a few bottles of this magical elixir. The majority of the 2016s will benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age, but good luck keeping your hands off of them."
"Leading off the 2016s and checking in as interesting blend of 46% Mourvedre, 19% Syrah, 15% Tempranillo and the balance Petite Sirah, Grenache, and Zinfandel, the 2016 Paderewski shows how good these eclectic blends from the west side of Paso Robles can be. Offering a rocking bouquet of ripe currants, plums, forest floor, truffle, and orange zest, this beauty has no hard edges and offers full body, incredible intensity, and a seamlessness pared with density that needs to be tasted to be believed. This hedonistic yet also elegant 2016 benefits from a decant and has a good 10-15 years of prime drinking ahead of it."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 94-96 POINTS - "The 2016 Paderewski Vineyard is lovely, revealing complex aromas of ripe black fruits, licorice, aromatic bark, candied peel and dried flowers. On the palate, it's full-bodied, layered and savory, with rich structuring tannins, excellent energy and concentration and a long, stony finish. It's a blend of 46% Mataro, 19% Syrah, 15% Tempranillo, 8% Petite Sirah, 7% Zinfandel and 5% Grenache, maturing in 16% new puncheons, 67% foudre and the balance in used wood. The 2016 will be bottled this June."