We tried last night (1/3/18) some Griffin'sLair Syrahs:
1. Arnot-Roberts Syrah Griffin'sLairVnyd/SonomaCoast (4 brls; 12.8%) 2014: Very dark color; smokey/pungent rather
NRhone/smoked meats/espresso rather c-c/black pepper slight reduced/funky strong blackberry/Syrah/peppery
lovely complex nose; quite tart/lean rather w-c/peppery bit c-c/black pepper rather tangy/metallic/grapefruity
some NRhone/espresso fairly blackberry/Syrah/spicy flavor w/ some hard/tangy tannins; very long lean/citric/
grapefruity/bit metallic slight bretty some blackberry/Syrah/spicy rather NRhone/peppery complex finish w/
modest lean/tangy tannins; lots of NRhone/w-c/peppery character but a bit painful on the palate and rather
lean/eviscerated. $55.00
2. Arnot-Roberts Syrah Griffin'sLairVnyd/PetalumaGap/SonomaCoast (12.8%; 16 yr old vines; 6 brls; 3 brls;
100% whole-cluster) 2013
: Dark color bit bricking; light funky/dishwater/reductive/sweaty armpit/envelope
adhesive/white glue slight blackberry/Syrah/peppery bit NRhone/roasted rather strange not altogether
unpleasant nose; very tart/lean/austere/grapefruity rather metallic/tangy bit w-c/peppery little fruit
flavor w/ some lean/hard/tangy/mean tannins; long lean/austere/tangy/metallic wome w-c/peppery some NRhone/
roasted/espresso finish w/ lean/hard tannins; some interesting NRhone character but a real paucity of fruit
and rather painful to drink. $55.00
3. WindGap Syrah GriffinsLairVnyd/SonomaCoast (390 cs; 13.6%; #1781) 2009: Very dark color; beautiful fragrant/
perfumed rather pepper/w-c slight c-c/black peppery quite NRhone/roasted/smoked meats some spicy/blackberry/
Syrah quite complex nose; fairly tart/lean/tangy very w-c/peppery light blackberry/Syrah/spicy some NRhone/
roasted/espresso complex flavor w/ modest lean tannins; very long/lingering fairly tart/lean some blackberry/
Syrah strong w-c/peppery very NRhone/smoked meats/espresso finish w/ light angular tannins; loads of NRhone/
roasted character and w-c/peppery character; very much resembles a good Hermitage. $52.00
4. BedrockWineCo Syrah Griffin'sLairVnyd/PetalumaGap/SonomaCoast (14.0%; 50% whole cluster) 2010: Very dark/
near black color; very strong w-c/peppery loads of blackberry/spicy/Syrah light toasty/oak rather NRhone/
roasted/smoked meats/espresso bit olive tapenade very aromatic/perfumed nose; lightly tart/tangy fairly rich
very strong w-c/peppery very strong blackberry/spicy/Syrah some NRhone/roasted rich/textured fairly complex
flavor w/ modest smooth/ripe tannins; very long/lingering very strong blackberr/Syrah/spicy rather w-c/peppery
lots of NRhone/roasted/smoked meats rich/lush quite complex finish w/ some smooth/ripe tannins; a beautiful
fully-mature Calif Syrah that'd go mano a mano w/ any from Hermitage. $37.00
5. BedrockWineCo Syrah Griffin'sLairVnyd/PetalumaGap/SonomaCoast (14.0%; co-frmtd w/ 11% Viog; 60% whole cluster)
: Dark color; strong spicy/blackberry/Syrah some w-c/peppery bit NRhone/roasted/espresso bit smokey light
toasty/oak quite aromatic lovely complex nose; lightly tart/tangy/bit metallic light floral/lilacs quite
blackberry/spicy/Syrah light toasty/oak fairly w-c/peppery some NRhone/roasted flavor w/ ample tangy tannins;
very long/lingering some NRhone/roasted/olive tapenade strong blackberry/spicy/Syrah somewhat complex finish w/
ample hard tannins; needs more age; rather Hermitage-like w/ a Calif accent; terrific young Syrah w/ lots of
NRhone character. $38.00
6. BedrockWineCo Syrah Griffin'sLairVnyd/PetalumaGap/SonomaCoast/SonomaCnty (14.5%; 80% whole cluster;
12% Viog cofrmnt; 8 brls; 14.6%) 2012
: Very dark color; strong very spicy/blackberry/Syrah light w-c/peppery
slight c-c/black pepper more lush fruit bit licorice light NRhonish/smokey rathe aromatic lovely nose; lightly
tart very spicy/peppery/blackberry/Syrah bit w-c/peppery light Rhonish/smoked meats/espresso fairly rich/
mouthfilling some complex flavor w/ light tangy tannins; very long/lingering lightly NRhonish/roasted/coffee
very strong blackberry/Syrah bit c-c/black pepper some NRhone complex finish w/ light tannins; lots of
w-c/peppery charact and more rich Syrah fruit. $40.00
7. BedrockWineCo Syrah Griffin'sLair/SonomaCoast/SonomaCnty (14.2%; 50% whole-cluster) 2013: Very dark color;
intense blackberry/Syrah/very spicy slight c-c/black pepper slight NRhone/roasted/black olive tapenade somewhat
complex quite aromatic nose; fairly tart strong very spicy/blackberry/Syrah some w-c/peppery bit NRhone/espresso/
olive tapenade complex flavor w/ modest ripe tannins; very long/lingering light w-c/peppery very strong blackberry/
Syrah finish w/ ample ripe tannins; very much like the '12 but stronger & more ripe Syrah fruit. $42.50
8. Bedrock Syrah Griffin'sLairVnyd/SonomaCoast/SonomaCnty (Farmed by Joan&Jim Griffin; 50% whole cluster;
14.2%) 2014
: Very much like the '13 but even more spicy/lush/Syrah fruit, less NRhone/roasted; somewhat
bigger/harder tannins; very much the same style but bigger & younger; needs 4-8 yrs of age. $42.00
9. Bedrock Syrah Griffin'sLairVnyd/SonomaCoast/SonomaCnty (14.2%) 2015: Pretty much like the '14 w/ a bit more
peppery/bright Syrah fruit and a bit less of the w-c/peppery character; loads of primary Syrah fruit, quite
young and needs 5-10 yrs; terrific young Syrah & great drink now but will only get better. $45.00
10. Bedrock Syrah LauterbachHill/RRV (14.0%; Clone 877; 36 mo. in a single used puncheon; 50% whole
clusters; 40 cs) 2008
: Very dark color w/ some bricking; some blackberry/Syrah/ripe bit tired/cedary/pencilly
slight metallic/funky/mousey bit graphite/pungent/burning metal complex nose; soft rather tired/cedary/
pencilly/oldRed bit sour some charred/burnt very little fruit flavor w/ light tired/astringent tannins;
long rather tired/dried out slight blackberry/Syrah cedary/oldRed finish w/ light astringent/bitter tannins;
pretty much well over the hill. $39.00
More stuff from the alt-BloodyPulpit:
1. Pepper: I'm liking a lot Syrahs that use a certain degree of whole-cluster fermentation. It gives the wine a
certain degree of pepperiness that rsembles a bit a Rhonish character. And that pepperiness is somewhat different
from cold-climate Syrah that resembles more cracked black or white pepper, which is somewhat different and not as
clearly Rhonish. I was a bit surprised that I didn't find more c-c/black pepper in the Griffin'sLairs.
2. A-R: The Arnot-Roberts wines are sometimes a bit difficult to take. They tend to harvest earlier, aiming for a
lower degree of alcohol. They are darlings of the IPoB crowd, but many of their wines I would not call in-balance.
I find I tend to like their white wines, which lends itself better to this style of winemaking, much more. Less
so their reds, particularly their Syrahs. They often come across as quite shrill on the palate and sometimes are
painful to down. One would hope that btl age would make them into something interesting and bring them into
better balance, but I'm beginning to have my doubts about that. Still, I find the A-R wines quite interesting
and continue to buy them...but limiting my purchases. Most in my group are not big fans of them.

3. Bedrock: This was the first time we'd tasted this many Bedrock Syrahs together. I was mightly impressed...as good
as any Syrahs being produced in Calif. The '10 was the hit of the night, along w/ the WindGap. All of the Bedrock
Syrahs were very similar stylistic, with the younger ones (as you'd expect) showing more lush fruit and less of
that NRhonish/roasted character. Morgan is doing a mighty fine job w/ his Syrahs. The Hudsons are next.