SYRAH, GRENACHE, VIOGNIER, ETC
- Item #: i_201470Bottle Size: 750MLJeb Dunnuck: 92 PointsProducers of Petite Sirah need to take note: there's a young gun out there who's going to show you some new moves! Winemaker Aaron Jackson is one amazing guy! He fully commits to whatever the task at hand is. So being the hardcore surfer that he is, you can imagine how dedicated to winemaking Aaron must be when he has to leave those firing Central Coast point breaks to head for the vineyards! His wines have been staples at our store for years, and it's amazing how he can make Petite Sirah taste so good, keep it complex yet easy to drink, and sell such a tasty wine for a reasonable price!
ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 93 POINTS - "(raised for 22 months in large French oak barrels, 55% of them new) Bright purple. Smoke-tinged cherry and blueberry compote aromas show excellent clarity, and a mocha element sneaks in as the wine stretches out. Sweet and pliant in the mouth, offering densely packed yet lively red and blue fruit and floral pastille flavors and a hint of five-spice powder. Shows impressive energy on the broad, chewy finish, which is firmed by building tannins and sharpened by a late jolt of juicy acidity."
JEB DUNNUCK 92 POINTS - "The inky colored 2015 Petite Sirah offers classic sweet black and plum fruits as well as some smoky, barbecue notes in its full-bodied, layered, powerful style. With 12% Syrah in the blend and brought up in 55% new barrels, it stays beautifully balanced and is a joy to drink."
- Item #: i_201360Bottle Size: 750mlBob Tillman searched for several years for the site where he could plant a truly world-class vineyard. After the family moved to the Central Coast of California and tasted the wines coming out of Paso Robles, they knew they found the right region! In 2003, Bob found this beautiful hilltop property on Adelaida Road that would become Alta Colina. All the grapes on this property are organically farmed, and the fruit is so amazing that other Central Coast producers such as McPrice Myers, Sans Liege, and Paydirt get fruit from Alta Colina.
- Item #: i_200500Bottle Size: 750mlThe focus of this two person operation is on small lot, single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Chardonnay, as well as several other varieties uncommon in Northern Californian vineyards. Sites are carefully chosen and are generally on the cooler end of the spectrum for the planted varieties. Collaboration with dedicated and passionate growers is paramount in the farming of these sites.
Duncan and Nathan grew up around winemaking in the Napa Valley. Nathan is a second generation cooper and personally builds all of the French oak barrels that are utilized in the ageing of all Arnot-Roberts wines. Over the years Duncan has worked making wine in the Napa Valley in wineries like, Caymus, Groth, Acacia, Kongsgaard. Total production of Arnot-Roberts is around 2,000 cases per year with thirteen individual wines.
- Item #: i_205560Bottle Size: 750mlLast year, winemaker Edgar Torres brought us a couple wines that were simply amazing! This year is no different, other than the fact that he has a new wine that is really gets us excited! His latest bottling is called "Toro de Paso", a blend of Tempranillo, Grenache, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Tempranillo and Grenache are a couple of the primary grapes in many Spanish reds, and coming from this Central Coast region, calling this wine Toro de Paso just made sense.
Offering plenty of underbrush, loamy earth, spice and mulled black fruits, the 2013 Toro de Paso is medium-bodied, nicely concentrated, with good fruit, but a firm, savory edge to its tannin. Give bottles a year in the cellar but plan on drinking by 2023. The blend in 2013 is 65% Tempranillo, 25% Grenache, 5% Cabernet, and 5% Merlot, all of which spent two years in oak.
- Item #: i_205800Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 96 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 96 POINTS - "The 2017 White is in the same ballpark and reminds me of a top Hermitage Blanc from Michel Chapoutier. Quince, honeysuckle, buttered citrus, marmalade, and white flower notes all flow to a full-bodied, concentrated, yet beautifully balanced white that does everything right. It's that perfect match of richness and freshness, not to mention awesome purity."
- Item #: i_207430Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 94Jeb Dunnuck: 94 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 94+ POINTS - "Coming from a single vineyard in the cooler Bennett Valley (although the site is so unique they don't label this wine as from Bennett Valley), the 2017 The Integral checks in as 62% Syrah and 38% Mourvedre that had the Syrah mostly destemmed and the Mourvedre fermented with 100% whole clusters. Deep purple-hued with notes of smoke blue fruits, bloody minerality, charcoal, and graphite, it's medium to full-bodied, concentrated, backward, and structured. Hide bottles for 4-5 years and it's going to keep for over a decade."
WINE SPECTATOR 94 POINTS - "A light-footed bruiser, opening with boldly expressive blackberry jam aromas before revealing a structured core wrapped in compelling currant, licorice and smoky beef flavors. Syrah and Mourvedre. Best from 2021 through 2028. 422 cases made."
- Item #: i_207320Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 92Jeb Dunnuck: 93 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "Mostly Mourvedre from deep loam and clay soils, it offers tons of smoked dark fruits, licorice, olive, and plenty of meatiness to go with a ripe, textured, sexy style on the palate. It has plenty of tannins and it certainly offers pleasure today, but 2-3 years of bottle age are going to be your friend."
WINE SPECTATOR 92 POINTS - "Refines and tames a gutsy personality, bringing polish to expressive blackberry, wild game and smoked pepper flavors that build toward broad-shouldered tannins. Mourvedre, Petite Sirah, Syrah, Carignane, Alicante Bouschet and Peloursin. Best from 2021 through 2028. 308 cases made."
- Item #: i_207240Bottle Size: 750mlWhile many 2017s were picked earlier than their 2016 counterparts, this was one of the few exceptions where Carlisle picked later, despite lower yields. Twenty percent of the fruit was not destemmed to add structure and aromatics. After a five-day cold soak, the wine was fermented with two yeast strains that emphasize varietal character and mouthfeel. Twenty-five days on the skin. Pressed to all French oak, 24% new, and bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Tasting Note: Dark purple-ruby. A floral top note provided by the whole cluster complements aromas of macerated blackberries and roasted meat. Medium-full to full-bodied. While whole cluster can often add additional tannin to a wine, here it seems to have made the wine smoother, more harmonious. With exceptional balance, this wine will have a wide window of enjoyment.
ANTONIO GALLONI 92-95 POINTS - "The 2017 Syrah Papa's Block is dense, powerful and explosive. Blackberry jam, lavender, spice, menthol and game infuse the 2017 with tremendous character. The 20% whole stems add aromatic nuance, but are not especially apparent. Inky and deep, yet also quite nuanced, the Papa's is wonderfully complete, not to mention one of the highlights in this vast range of 2017s from Carlisle and Mike Officer."
- Item #: i_214790Bottle Size: 750MLFragrant, alluring and exotic, Viognier is a rarity in Napa Valley. Darioush Signature Viognier expresses its inherently bright and vibrant character when grown from the cooler locales of Oak Knoll and Los Carneros where dense early morning fog and late afternoon breezes allow this delicate variety to ripen slowly and completely. The hallmark of Signature Viognier is its effusive floral aromatics and core of juicy stone fruit.
- Item #: i_214970Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 92Planted in 1999, Denner Vineyards is a winegrowing estate on the far western border of the Paso Robles AVA. Their 156 acres press up against the Santa Lucia Range, giving the site great diversity of elevation, aspect and soil. Previously dry farmed barley, the estate is nestled into the Templeton Gap, an East/West corridor where the marine layer can reach the inland valleys. As a result they receive large diurnal temperature swings without high moisture pressure, giving us a near perfect growing climate.
The 108 acres under vine are comprised of 19 different varieties in 26 unique blocks. Each block is farmed with painstaking attention to detail, allowing only for the best possible grapes to reach the winery. Aron Nevarez, their vineyard manager, is committed to environmentally friendly farming practices, using only sustainable inputs and minimal irrigation.
The "Theresa" bottling is a full bodied blend of 50% Roussanne, 20% Grenache Blanc, 10% Vermentino, 10% Picpoul, and 10% Marsanne.
- Item #: i_214870Bottle Size: 750mlWinery's Tasting Notes: "Juicy peach, lemon oil and orange marmalade are supported with hints of flint and mineral notes. The palate is full bodied, with flavors of nectarine, buttered brioche and honey. The rich, complex flavors are cut with a touch of tannin and bright acidity on the long fresh finish."
- Item #: i_215940Bottle Size: 750mlSeven is Dragonette's Syrah-based blend, originally named for the seven exceptional cool climate vineyard sites from which it was comprised. They have refined their vineyard sources for this wine over the years, selecting precise blocks and clones to increase aromatic and flavor complexity, rather than sheer fruit power. The 2016 Seven is comprised of 89% Syrah, 10% Grenache and 1% Viognier. The wine is sourced from John Sebastiano Vineyard, Stolpman Vineyard, Larner Vineyard, Kimsey, and Spear. The wine was aged in French oak barrels and puncheons (10% new) for 18 months before blending and bottling.
We are thrilled with the performance of this wine, as it is already beginning to show off explosive, complex aromatics (red, blue and black fruits, spices and meats), a rich, yet lifted palate, smooth texture and a scintillatingly long finish for such a young wine. We expect this wine to continue to develop over the coming years and to last for well over a decade.
- Item #: i_274470Bottle Size: 750mlOwner/winemaker Russell From likes to write his tasting notes like they're a story. For this 2015 Late Bloomer he writes: "A day at the lake left you sun-soaked and sleepy. Dirt and wood chips stick to your feet and probably your hair, but somewhere hidden in these pines, a fire's waiting. When you sat on the rocks with Robbie Vanderberg, after his shift at the produce market, while his friends pushed each other off the dock, did he mean to touch your hand? His sticky blackberry-stained fingers, the breeze off the water, now it's all fading away between a flickering bonfire, carefree chatter, and a flask you've been passed, sweet bourbon. Curled in a camping chair, you wonder what he would do if you made a move. There's only one way to find out."
- Item #: i_274490Bottle Size: 750mlRussell From is the owner, winemaker, and sole employee of Herman Story wines. Russell is talented in the cellar, and has a keen eye for what a vineyard can and cannot do. What does this mean?...It means you have one of the more talented winemakers from Paso Robles and Santa Barbara bringing some of the most exciting wines!
We like to think of this wine as an alternative for California Chardonnay drinkers. It has the weight and heft of Chardonnay, but with a completely different set of flavors and tactile sensations. The Tom Boy is 100% Viognier from Bien Nacido and Larner Vineyards in Santa Barbara County that was aged for 9 months in 100% new French oak.
It has a lovely straw/gold color with aromas and flavors of citrus rinds, apricots, white flowers, white tea, almond oil, and lots of glycerin. Rich, fragrant (as only Viognier can be), and decadent, this doubles as the the perfect beginning or end to a meal! Only 407 Cases Made!
- Item #: i_274430Bottle Size: 750mlThis is a blend of 40% Syrah, 35% Mourvedre, 19% Grenache, 4% Carignan, and 2% Tannat. Russel writes his tasting notes like a story, and he writes: "You never thought you'd get this far, but the wood-paneled bar with neon-lit signs has dissolved into your apartment balcony, where she's hungry and waiting. Frying up a grilled cheese in the kitchen you realize you're not kids anymore, so you're trying to channel your inner Thomas Keller, chopping fresh rosemary and sage, sizzling bacon, spreading pepper jelly. She hand-rolls a cigarette as you split the sandwich. Miles away, thunder rolls. The air turns earthy and sweet. Let it fill the space between you until the rain begins."
- Item #: i_274450Bottle Size: 750mlFor Russell P. From, Paso is a place to push new frontiers in the exploration of full-force flavor. Milk and Honey is a blend of 34% Tempranillo, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Syrah, 14% Petit Verdot, and 6% Grenache, and exposes the best of the promised land. Tempranillo was chosen as the base of this blend due to its similarity to one of Paso's new keystone varietals, Grenache, while also giving a nod to the region's stylistic similarities to Ribero del Duero. While Paso is an emerald city for some, it is also home to derelicts and grifters and ne'er–do–wells, for whom the artwork is an homage.
Russell writes his tasting notes like a story, and this one reads: "As you journey El Camino de Santiago de Compostela through the spectacular Galician countryside, you take respite in a quaint hamlet whose inhabitants welcome you with warm smiles and amazing refreshment. Beef Cecina dipped in olive oil, hearty bean stew and acorn-fed Jamon. A voluptuous local woman o.ers you the wine from the vineyard on the hillside. As you taste the paprika-spiced oak, you wonder if you could end the journey here, lost in the eyes of this dark-haired beauty. Instead, it is a cup of Cafe con Queimada and a few hours of daylight to go. The journey continues, regardless of the destination."
- Item #: i_274400Bottle Size: 750mlRussell From is the owner, winemaker, and sole employee of Herman Story wines. Russell is talented in the cellar, and has a keen eye for what a vineyard can and cannot do. What does this mean?...It means you have one of the more talented winemakers from Paso Robles and Santa Barbara bringing some of the most exciting wines!
Russell's Nuts and Bolts is 100% Syrah from some of the more pretigious vineyards in California's Central Coast, including Bien Nacido, White Hawk, and Luna Matta. His tasting notes read: "You've finally done it and curated the man cave of your dreams. The hand-carved cherry wood bar is fully stocked with everything from espresso tequila to berry-infused absinthe to Jolt Cola. The 1915 Brunswick pool table compliments the Elle Bleu Gargoyle humidor with names like Behike, Opus X and Black Dragon. The hint of gun-metal oil permeates the air from the well-kept Glock 17 kept on display, and the built-in Excelsior houses the 88" that just so happens to be tuned to a Jai Alai match. There's mesquite grilled Chateaubriand at the carving station and Tito Puente on the jukebox. Most of all, there is a level of comfort and intimacy that you swirl around your glass before drinking it all in."
- Item #: i_230830Bottle Size: 750mlHug Cellar’s wines are wines that are truly “made in the vineyard”. Handcrafted cultivation by these dedicated growers, and gentle winemaking in the cellar, produce wines that are rich and intense in their aromas, textures and flavors. There is very little manipulation in the small lot winemaking at Hug Cellars. We utilize whole cluster and indigenous yeasts in our fermentations. This fosters wines that reflect the pure expression of these unique vineyards.
- Item #: i_234300Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 98 PointsGrowing up just outside of Sacramento, California, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Charles Smith began craving worldly travel at a young age due to his Welsh mother and French father. His wine journey began working in restaurants, spending winters in Palm Springs and summers in Lake Tahoe or Napa Valley from the ages of nineteen to twenty-nine. This period of his life became a catalyst for his passion for wine. In 1989 Charles decided to move to Denmark (for a lady friend he met in the states). While in Scandinavia, Charles spent the next nine years managing rock bands and concert tours throughout Europe, including the famed Danish duo, The Raveonettes. Wining, dining and hard partying while on the road ultimately triggered the career he has today.
Located at the base of the Blue Mountains in Walla Walla (Washington State), Charles Smith opened his first winery, K Vintners, in December of 2001. The first release,1999 K Syrah from Walla Walla Valley, initiated the style of winemaking that Charles continues today: small lots of single vineyard Syrahs and field blends of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Tempranillo, and Viognier, all of which are hand-picked, fermented with naturally occurring yeasts and basket pressed.
In Walla Walla the unconventional Smith met a kindred iconoclast, a brash young Frenchman named Christophe Baron, whose vineyards, planted in 1997, were producing distinctive, personality-rich red wines under the Cayuse Vineyard label. He encouraged Smith to make wine in Walla Walla and even sold Smith grapes to help get K Vintners started. Syrah from Baron's Cailloux Vineyard made one of the 1999 wines that got Smith started.
Charles Smith remains as one of the biggest players in Washington wine. He is the only person to have received Winemaker of the Year distinctions by both Wine Enthusiast (2014) and Food & Wine (2009). In 2008, K Vintners was recognized by Wine & Spirits magazine as one of the "Best New Wineries of the Last Ten Years," and as "Winery of the Year" in their annual buying guide. His wines continue to receive broad recognition from leading wine publications such as Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, and Wine & Spirits with 98 scores of 95 points and above, and 386 scores of 90 points and above.
JEB DUNNUCK 98 POINTS - "Made from 100% Syrah, the 2015 Syrah Powerline Vineyard is much more backward, brooding, and mineral-laced, with sensational notes of blackcurrants, cassis, crushed rock, and tapenade. A true powerhouse on the palate, with terrific concentration, building tannin, and a great, great finish, it's a singular, incredible wine that does everything right. Give bottles 2-3 years and enjoy over the following decade."
- Item #: i_237730Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 92A blend of 71% Grenache, 15% Mourvedre, and 14% Syrah, this showcases great aromatics typical of it's Grenache vineyard in the Adelaida District AVA in West Side Paso Robles. On the nose is spicy red fruits, fresh cherries and hints of chocolate. On the palate its combines a new world juiciness and some old world Chateauneuf-du-Pape like floral notes and firm tannins. The Syrah component from a hillside vineyard in the Willow Creek AVA complements, but still allows the Grenache to be in the driver seat of this blend. We think you'll enjoy its freshness and structure now as well as benefit from several years of cellaring to experience its progression.
ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 92 POINTS - "(15% whole clusters; 40% new French oak) Saturated ruby. Heady, mineral-accented red berry liqueur and floral scents show excellent clarity and a smoky topnote. Sweet and sharply focused on the palate, offering ripe raspberry and cola flavors and a spicy hint of white pepper. Shows excellent finishing cut and floral persistence, with rounded tannins coming in late."
- Item #: i_241260Bottle Size: 750MLJeb Dunnuck: 95 PointsNamed for Ron Melville's wife, Donna's block is planted atop twenty feet of sand in the northeast section of Melville's vineyard and is composed of two-thirds clone 1 and one-third Estrella clone. Fermented as 100% whole clusters and aged in neutral barrel, this wine provides vividly enhanced aromatics and structure making it demonstrative of the extremely cool climate of the site on which it is grown.
ANTONIO GALLONI 95 POINTS - "Just bottled, the 2017 Syrah Donna's is simply fabulous. The 2017 is remarkable for many reasons, most notably its translucent sense of elegance and finesse. The 100% whole clusters are impeccably balanced. This sandy site yields a Syrah built on aromatic nuance and finesse. Hints of lavender, sage and mint open up in the glass, but the 2017 needs time to be at its very best. Even so, it is super-impressive today."
JEB DUNNUCK 95 POINTS - "Always from the same parcel of vines in the estate vineyard, the 2017 Syrah Estate Donna's was not destemmed and was brought up in neutral oak. It offers a wonderful bouquet of blackberries, plums, curing spices, olives, lavender, and violets. It's not the biggest, richest example of this cuvée, but it's still full-bodied and has a terrific sense of purity, a sexy texture, and a great finish. Enjoy this textbook Sta. Rita Hills Syrah over the coming decade or more."
- Item #: i_248400Bottle Size: 750mlPetite Sirah is a revered grape varietal at Orin Swift. Since 2000, it has been made and utilized primarily as a blending component due to scarcity. Unlike its celebrated relative Syrah, Petite Sirah can be a challenge to source. Yet, it has always been an objective to showcase the varietal in a dynamic blend and a pursuit was launched to find some prized petite vineyards. The realization of this goal came in 2009 with the first release of Machete. Spurred by a favorable reaction, Orin Swift continued their hunt to include additional blocks in an effort to make the wine even better. Prominent regions throughout Northern California comprise this matrix, which provides for added layers of depth and structure. The results of which is a wine with attitude to complement the twelve individual labels.
A blend of Petite Sirah, Grenache, and Syrah, violet ink in the glass, a nose of black plums, cassis, and cacao engage. The robust entry consists of a progressing palate of blackberry and boysenberry compote, a reduction of dark plum and ripe figs, and pure Amarena cherry. Flashes of vanilla and traces of minerality evolve into chalky tannins and a smooth lingering finish.
- Item #: i_276520Bottle Size: 750mlANTONIO GALLONI 95 POINTS - "Jeremy Weintraub has a magic touch in crafting wines that are rich, vibrant and yet also highly site-specific."
"The 2016 Grenache Larner Vineyard is a total rock-star wine. Bold, punchy and explosive, with tremendous fruit density, the 2016 just has so much going on. The purity and depth of the flavors is just tremendous. Ripe red plum, mocha, spice and dried flowers are some of the many aromas and flavors that pulse through this heady, exotic wine. This is a decidedly creamy, sumptuous style, and it works beautifully."