David White's Splurge Wines

A "best of" list provided by wine expert, David White


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2008 Failla Estate Syrah

I credit Failla’s 2005 Estate Syrah for launching my obsession with wine. I tasted the 2008 Estate Syrah several times this year, and I'm glad that my tastes were refined from day one!

It's no surprise that Failla makes excellent Syrah. Its winemaker and owner, Ehren Jordan, learned to make wine in the Rhône Valley, where he worked two harvests under famed French winemaker Jean-Luc Columbo.

When Ehren returned to the United States, he was convinced that "Syrah should taste like it does in the northern Rhône." So when a “gorge-laced” parcel on the Sonoma Coast that reminded him of the northern Rhône went up for sale, he bit. Today, that property is home to miniscule plantings of Syrah, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir -- and they produce some of California's best wines.

Failla's Estate Syrah is a powerful wine with loads of fruit. But like the best wines of the northern Rhône, there's also something wild about it -- every vintage is marked by wild game, leather, black pepper, and even tomato.

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