We tasted tonight (9/19/18) Some Calif Syrahs:
1. Ridge Syrah LyttonEstate/DCV (76% Syrah/21% Grenache/3% Carignane; 13.8%; 39 brls; bttld Aug 2004;
Drk: 7/04-7/09: PD) Cupertino 2002
: Very dark/near black color; strong cracked black pepper/c-c Syrah
some blackberry/Syrah/spicy some smokey/Am.oak quite attractive nose; bit soft slight c-c/black pepper
some blackberry/Syrah fairly strong smokey/Am.oak bit complex flavor w/ modest brisk tannins; very long/
lingering light c-c/black pepper some blackberry/Syrah/slight earthy finish w/ modest tannins; well
beyond its drop-dead date but still in great shape; more interesting because of the c-c/black pepper
character. $28.00 (ATP)
2. Ridge Syrah II Lytton Estate/DCV (76% Syrah/22% Grenache/2% Viog; 14.1%; 40 brls; bttld March 2005;
Drk: 1/05-1/10-1/12: PD) different LS blocks) 2002
: Very dark/near black clor; more subtle strong
blackberry/ripe/Syrah some smokey/Am.oak bit simpler more Ridgey very attractive nose; lightly tart bit
hard/tannic strong blackberry/Syrah bit simpler some toasty/Am.oak classic RidgeRed flavor w/ modest
rough/hard tannins; very long some taosty/vanilla/Am.oak strong blackberry/Syrah bit hard/rough finish
w/ light hard/rough tannins; bit simpler in character and a more straightforward Ridge Syrah; probably
can use a few more yrs of age. $28.00 (ATP)
3. Ridge Syrah LyttonEstate/DryCreekVlly/SonomaCnty (84% Syrah/10% Grenache/6% Viog; 13.7%; 42 brls;
bttld 11/13; Drk: 9/13-9/23-9/25: EB) 2011
: Very dark color; much stronger Syrah/blackberry/spicy bit
cracked black pepper rather spicy slight Rhonish/roasted/pungent light toasty/Am.oak quite attractive
bit complex nose; lightly tart strong spicy/blackberry/Syrah/slight black pepper bit Rhonish/roasted
complex flavor w/ modest smooth tannins; very long some toasty/Am.oak fairly strong blackberry/Syrah/
spicy/bit black pepper slight Rhonish/roasted complex finish w/ modest ripe/smooth tannins; much more
interesting and my favorite of these Ridges; seems fairly mature but probably will go out to 2025.
$36.00 (ATP)
4. Ridge Syrah LyttonEstate/DryCreekVlly/SonomaCnty (10% Viognier; 13.9%; 41 brls; bttld 12/14; Drk:
9/14-9/20-9/23: EB; tartaric acid addition) Cupertino 2012
: Very dark color; bit simpler/straightforward
Syrah/blackberry some vanilla/Am.oak/toasty nose; bit softer simple/blackberry/Syrah/bit earthy rather
Am.oak/vanilla/toasty light earthy flavor w/ modest bit hard/gritty tannins; very long simple/blackberry/
Syrah strong vanilla/Am.oak bit earthy/dusty finish w/ modest rough tannins; needs several yrs of more
age; bit on the simple side and more Ridgey than the others. $36.00 (ATP)
4a. Ridge Grenache LyttonEstate/DryCreekVlly (78% Grenache/12% PS/10% Zin; 14.4%; 52 brls; bttld April 2003;
Drk: 3/03-3/08-3/10: PD) 2001
: Med.dark color; rather aromatic/strawberry/Grenache/cherry some vanilla/
Am.oak slight SouthernRhone interesting nose; lightly tart rather strawberry/cherry/Grenache/bit earthy
some vanilla/oak flavor w/ light smooth tannins; very long some bright/Grenache/strawberry/ripe/cherry
some Am.oak/vanilla light earthy slight Rhonish finish w/ light gentle tannins; showing little signs of
its advanced age;a rather interesting mature slightly Rhonish Grenache that is not strongly Ridge.
Larry's Mystery
5. Bedrock Syrah Weill a WayVnyd/SonomaVlly/SonomaCnty Exposition One (100% Syrah; 100% whole-cluster;
14.8%) 2013
: Very dark color; ; very strong w-c/Rhonish/roasted/peppery some blackberry/Syrah light earthy
fairly complex nose; fairly tart very strong w-c/Rhonish/peppery/smoked meats some strong blackberry/Syrah/
spicy flavor w/ modest tangy/hard tannins; very long/lingering strong peppery/w-c/Rhonish strong
blackberry/Syrah bit earthy/dusty lightly tart complex finish w/ somy tangy/edgey tannins; a very classic
w-c/Rhonish/roasted meats Syrah; can still use 3-5 yrs of age; my favorite of the Bedrocks. $60.00
6. Bedrock Syrah Weill a WayVnyd/SonomaVlly/SonomaCnty Exposition Two (92% Syrah/8% Viog; co-frmtd;
50% whole-cluster; 14.8%) 2013
: Very dark/near black color; light w-c/Rhonish/peppery stronger blackberry/
Syrah/spicy/blueberry light toasty/oak nose; light w-c/Rhonish/smoked meats strong blackberry/Syrah/
blueberry/spicy/bit peppery somewhat simpler flavor w/ modest brisk tannins; very long light w-c/Rhonish/
peppery fairly strong blackberry/Syrah/spicy light toasty/oak finish w/ some brisk tannins; less w-c and
more blackberry/Syrah fruit character; the least interesting of the three Expositions but still a very
good Syrah. $60.00
7. Bedrock Syrah Weill a WayVnyd/SonomaVlly/SonomaCnty Exposition Three (84% Syrah/16% Viog; co-frmtd;
12% whole-cluster; 14.8%) 2013
: Very dark color; more perfumed floral/Syrah/violets/blackberry/spicy light
toasty/oak lovely nose; strong peppery/blackberry/Syrah light floral/violets/aromatic some toasty/oak bit
complex flavor w/ some brisk/chewey tannins; very long/lingering strong peppery/blackberry/Syrah very slight
w-c/Rhonish light toasty/oak some floral/violets/high-toned finish w/ some brisk tannins; clearly less
w-c/peppery and more floral/aromatic in character; quite a lovely Syrah. $60.00
8. Bedrock Syrah Weill a WayVnyd/SonomaVlly/SonomaCnty (14.8%; co-frmtd Viognier; some w-c; 3 yrs in 100%
new oak; Drk: 2020-2030:MTP) 2014
: Very dark/near black color; slight Rhonish/w-c very strong blackberry/
Syrah/bit peppery some toasty/smokey rather perfumed/complex lovely nose; very strong very spicy/blackberry/
Syrah/blueberry some toasty/oak light Rhonish/roasted/smoked meats complex flavor w/ ample hard/chewey
tannins; very long/lingering very strong blackberry/blueberry/Syrah/very spicy/bit licorice/pungent some
Rhonish/w-c/roasted/smoked meats complex finish w/ ample hard/crunchy tannins; badly needs age; a nice
balance between w-c/Rhonish and intense Syrah fruit; a terrific Syrah. $55.50
9. Carlisle Syrah Papa'sBlock/RRV (14.5%; 390 cs; 32% whole cluster; U/U) 2011: Very dark/black color; very
strong charred/burnt/oak bit herbal some reductive very strong blackberry/boysenberry/Syrah bit Oz-like
nose; slightly soft ripe/blackberry/boysenberry/Syrah slight peppery some burnt/charred/oak flavor w/
ample ripe/metallic tannins; very long/lingering very strong burnt/charred/oak some reductive intense
blackberry/boysenberry/Syrah/slight peppery very structured finish w/ ample tangy/gritty tannins; a very
big Syrah that still needs much time; a bit Oz-like in character, more like an Alban Syrah. $40.00
10. Carlisle Syrah Papa'sBlock/RRV/SonomaCnty (3.5 tons/acre; 15.1%; 30% whole cluster; U/U; 435 cs) 2012: Very
dark/black color; bit strange slight ozone/reduced/sewer gas/burning metal charred oak some herbal/peppery
very strong blackberry/Syrah/boysenberry rather pungent nose; lightly tart rather pungent/reduced/burning
metal intense ripe/blackberry/boysenberry/peppery/Syrah flavor w/ ripe bit hard tannins; very long rather
reductive/burning metal bit herbal/peppery intense blackberry/boysenberry/Syrah/ripe finish w/ ample hard
tannins;badly needs some age; a rather strange pretty reductive wine w/ loads of ripe Syrah fruit; should
age into something pretty interesting. $42.00
11. Carlisle Syrah Papa'sBlock/RRV/SonomaCnty (15.0%; 470 cs; 30% whole-cluster; U/U) 2014: Very dark/near black
color; slight reduced very strong blackberry/boysenberry/Syrah/ripe/bit peppery some toasty/charred/oak rather
Oz-like nose; bit soft rich/lush strong toasty/charred/oak intense boysenberry/blackberry/ripe Syrah/licorice
slight peppery structured flavor w/ modest soft/ripe tannins; very long/lingering strong charred/burnt/toasty/
oak intense blackberry/boysenberry/Syrah/ripe bit licorice/peppery structured finish w/ modest soft/ripe
tannins; bit Oz-like but more Alban-like in style; needs age but should be a good one; my favorite of the
Carlisles. $43.40
12. Carlisle Syrah Papa'sBlock/RRV/SonomaCnty (15.0%; 420 cs) 2015: Very dark color; strong toasty/oak very strong
licorice/chocolaty/boysenberry/blackberry Syrah slight peppery rather Oz-like nose; slightly tarter rather
toasty/oak very strong blackberry/ripe/boysenberry/Syrah/bit licorice structured bit peppery flavor w/ ample
ripe/smooth tannins; very long/lingering very strong blackberry/Syrah/boysenberry/ripe/bit licorice/peppery
rather Oz-like structured finish w/ some smooth/ripe tannins; not as Alban-like & over-the-top as the other
three; quite a good Carlisle Syrah. $42.50
More arfskittle from TheBloodyPulpit:
1. Bedrock: In 2013, Morgan released three Syrahs made in 3 different ways. Tiny quantities, only a barrel
or two of each Exposition. This was a very interesting experiment & I'm glad that Morgan shared it with us.
I preferred the Exposition 1 and the '14 equally because of the strong Rhonish character they showed.
2. Viognier Co-ferment: In CoteRotie, this is used because the Viognier is usually fully ripe by the time the Syrah
as achieved ripeness...so to give the wine a boost in alcohol. It was only later that the discovered
co-pigmentation. The addition of white grapes makes for a darker Syrah. This is the primary rational for its
use in Calif..though color is seldom an issue in Calif. There are some people who claim they can identify
Viognier in the aromas of co-frmtd Syrahs. I've never been able to identify Viog in such co-frmted wines.
However in the case of the three Bedrocks, the one w/ a high percentage of Viog certainly had a more floral/
aromatic character in the nose. But not identifiable Viog to me.
3. Papa's Block: I've not paid much attention to Mike's Papa'sBlock Syrah and these were the most togother that
I've had. I was quite struck by how Alban-like (but better) the first three were. I think I prefer his SLH
Syrahs a bit more. A bit more interesting.
4. Ridge Syrahs: Don't seem to get much recognition but they are what they are. Plenty of blackberry fruit but
speaking strongly of RidgeRed winemaking. Maybe a bit on the quotidian side. But, overall, I liked these
Syrahs a lot. Grapes come from the fairly young LyttonWest vnyd.