Recipes Articles Book Reviews Shopping Forum Contact
Syrah / Shiraz

June-July 2000

91 Stag’s Leap Winery 1997, Napa Valley, Syrah
A terrific wine!–full flavored, properly balanced, complex with lots of forward fruit. Cherry and cassis on the nose, following through to the silky palate with leather and pepper notes, sweet well-integrated tannins, and a long fruit and pepper finish. Good now, yet age-worthy, it would pair especially well with steak or wild mushrooms. A great special occasion wine.

90 Balbi Vineyard 1998, Syrah
A gorgeous wine–fascinating multi-layered nose of ripe plums and a high note of logan berries, following through to the palate with some smoky flavors. Nice structure with moderate tannin makes it enjoyable now but capable of aging. N/A

88 Carramar Estate 1999, Riverina, New South Wales Australia, Shiraz
A new winery to take note of, Carramar’s Shiraz is rich with ripe black plum and berry fruit, interlaced with a thread spice. Full-bodied with soft tannins, this is a mouthfilling wine that will please novices and wine enthusiasts alike. Try with beef or pasta marinara. An excellent bargain.

88 Barwang 1997, New South Wales Australia, Winemaker’s Reserve Shiraz
Plummy fruity with spicy cinnamon and red licorice tones, medium body, moderate tannin, and an extremely long warm finish. A mouthfilling wine to pair with grilled meats, chili and stews.

87 Valley of the Moon 1997, Sonoma County, Syrah
A well-made Syrah with a silky texture, firm tannic structure and forest floor accents that give complexity to the plum and berry fruit. Should peak in about five years. Nice wine for grilled meat

86 Stags’ Leap 1996, Napa Valley, Petite Syrah
Dense, concentrated blackberries, chewy tannins, a hint of vanilla, tight and restrained. Calls for another 5 to 7 years in the bottle. Good balance and potential.

85 Fetzer Vineyards 1998, California, Syrah
A wine showing plummy fruit with some bittersweet chocolate notes opening up on the palate, tart acidity and moderate tannin. Angular and capable of further aging, you could enjoy it now with full-flavored fare like barbecue.

84 Robert Mondavi Coastal 1998, Monterey County, Syrah
Nice aromatic plum and smoke aromas give way to chewy black fruit with an earthy component, medium tannin, decent balance and a dry finish. While it’s drinkable now, I’d prefer to lay it away for three years or ore to allow it to mellow.
Aug-Sept 2000

92 Heritage Road 1999, South Australia, Shiraz
A fruitier red wine you’ll rarely find–ripe, sweet blueberry, blackberry and cinnamon, full body, light tannin,

89 Perry Creek Vineyards 1997, El Dorado, Estate Bottled Syrah
Tasted in a flight of Australian Shiraz, we couldn’t pick it out. The Perry Creek has the same peppery, plummy fruit, good acidity, and a spicy finish. The tannin is mild, bringing the youthful fruit to the fore.

88 Lindemans 1998, South Eastern Australia Bin 50, Shiraz
Peppery, condensed blackberry with some licorice notes, dry, moderate tannin, tight and spicy through the finish. Serve with grilled steak.

94 Mitchelton 1996, Victoria Australia Print, Shiraz
Extraordinarily complex–fresh cracked pepper, smoke, plum-prune flavors, moderate spice, dry, intense, with some dark chocolate in the finish. Satisfying , well-balanced,

86 Stonehaven 1997, Limestone Coast, Shiraz
Plum jam and leather from the nose right on through th finish. Picks up some spice to sustain the finish. Moderate tannin and medium body.

87 Stonehaven 1996, Padthaway Australia, Shiraz
Big, powrful, intense and warm, it has wild berry jam and smoke flavors, edium body, full body, and a warm spicy finish. Some of the panelists thought it was too warm.

87 Kendall-Jackson 1998, California Vintner’s Reserve Syrah
Very nice stuffing–ripe plum, vanilla and toast, full bodied and spicy with light tannin, and tart acidity. Like a liquid plum pie.

Dec-Jan 2001

92 Penfolds 1997, Barossa Valley Australia RWT, Shiraz
A great Shiraz from the get-go. The nose is expansive and deep, with layers of subtle complexity: plums, leather, perfectly integrated oak, and best of all, it’s all in balance. A great wine now, it will only improve over the next decade.

90 Seven Peaks 1998, Paso Robles, Shiraz
Ripe, peppery, plummy fruit on the nose, spicy on the mid-palate, with a fruity and spice finish of good length. Intense, powerful and full-bodied, this is one of the best Syrahs (Shirazs) in California. When I tasted this blind, I was sure it was from Australia.

89 Stags’ Leap 1997, Napa Valley, Petite Syrah
A big, powerful Petite Syrah that takes a its cue from Côte Rôtie by blending in a little Viognier to give the nose more aromatics. The Stags’ Leap is a mouthfilling wine with chewy tannins and deep, chocolatey, blackberry fruit and a touch of vanilla and toast. While drinkable now, it will certainly be better in another three to five years.

Feb-Mar 2001

82 Bonterra 1998, Mendocino, Syrah
Tight and short, reticent nose, good fruit on the palate, short finish. Hard to judge at this juncture.

Dec-Jan 2001

89 Geyser Peak 1998, Sonoma County, Shiraz
Dry, aromatic berry and vanilla, supple on the palate with the addition of a light green olive note, and well-integrated tannin.

88 Geyser Peak 1997, Sonoma County , Reserve Shiraz
Big prune, pepper, tobacco leaf and nutmeg aromas that follow through to the palate with moderate tannin and classical structure. Pair with beef, lamb and tomato sauces.

88 Sobon Estate 1998, Shenandoah Valley of California, Syrah
Sobon has taken an interesting approach here, blending in 6% Viognier (a practice borrowed from Côte Rôtie), and 8% Grenache (a la southern Rhone wines). It has classic plum and blueberry fruit, firm tannins and crisp acidity, as well as good aromatics and a long finish. Good now, it should improve over the next five years or more. Serve with beef or veal.

87 R.H. Phillips 1999, Dunnigan Hills, EXP, Syrah
Caresses the senses with a deep, toasted plum character, fully integrated oak and a silky smooth texture. Super fruity finish.

87 McPherson 1999, South Eastern Australia, Shiraz Cabernet
The Shiraz holds the dominant position here, sweet, deep cherry pie fruit on the nose; dry cherry pie fruit on the palate, firm structure, well-integrated tannin, silky texture and a moderately fruity finish. Good value.

86 Wyndham Estate 1998, South Eastern Australia Bin 555, Shiraz
Crab apple, plum and oak spice, and a hint of herb (oregano, perhaps), light tannin and decent length. Good value.

86 McPherson 1999, South Eastern Australia, Shiraz
Raspberry-cherry fruit laced with black pepper notes in the nose, while on the palate it has dry, cherry pie fruit, light tannin and excellent balance. Fine value.

84 Beringer Vineyards 1998, California Founders’ Estate, Shiraz
Velvety smooth, juicy, ripe black plum character, just a hint of cocoa, medium-bodied, with very soft tannin. Totally accessible right now. Good spaghetti wine.

84 Heritage Road 1999 Old Mundalla Vineyard, Limestone Coast Australia Reserve, Shiraz
Plum, pepper, salt, soft tannin, and full body, with a tart finish.
Copyright © 2005 Epicurean.com & Fezziwig Publishing Co.
All rights reserved

Banner 10000017