Gregory Dal Piaz

Location: New York, NY

Top Syrah Between $10-35

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Yellow Tail Shiraz the Reserve Casella Estate (2009)
Comments: Intensely aromatic on the nose with a huge rush of truffle early on that is followed by toasty oak, cracked black pepper, aromas of dates and figs and some sweet vanilla. Low acid and languid in the mouth, this is smooth and glossy, with a fair amount of weight but not that much detail to the core of plump dried fruit, truffle, vanilla and black plum flavors. The finish shows a fair amount of wood tannin and some heat. A little unbalanced but not entirely unpleasant. 78pts
Previously available for $9.99
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2 Jacob's Creek Reserve Shiraz (2008)
Comments: Cedary, toasty and tarry on the nose with a deep base of worn leather, nuances of vanilla and white pepper and jammy cooked berry fruit. Nice and bright on entry with soft tannins and nicely supportive acidity that adds lift to the red plum and wild berry fruit here, but the oak is definitely the dominant flavor in the mouth. Toasty and heavy on the vanilla and spice. A little fruit pops on the finish, which is slightly sticky if smooth. Easy to drink, smooth and simple. 83pts
Average price: $13.99 from 115 stores
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3 Deakin Estate Shiraz Australia (2010)
Comments: Fresh on the nose, slightly reduced and a bit stemmy/herbal in nature, this does offer up simple, clean cracked pepper and red plum aromas. A bit lighter bodied than most but well-balanced and fresh feeling with well-judged tannins and almost juicy acidity accentuating the core of plummy fruit. There's a lovely hint of spice here and again an herbal nuance on the palate that recalls the nose. With air the fruit gains some darker aspects but the appeal here for me is the freshness in the mouth and the decidedly medium-bodied feel. A nuance of toasty marshmallow appears on the back end and some gentle streaks of oak pop on the finish but the oak is well-used here. Easy drinking bistro styled wine. 84pts
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4 Wyndham Bin 555 Shiraz Syrah/Shiraz (2008)
Comments: Tarry and gently spicy on the nose with mulberry and blackberry fruit framed by woodspice with a vanilla topnote. This enters the mouth with good acid-driven focus but it gains significant weight in the mouth, developing into a slightly rustic if rich mouthful of tannin-laced black cherry and blackberry fruit. There's a fair amount of oak spice here and a pretty peppery note on the mid-palate. The fruit fades rather quickly on the finish leaving rough, rustic tannins and some heat on the moderately long finish that does show some lingering red berry fruit on the finale. Plenty to like here for the price. 85pts
Average price: $5.99 from 1 store
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5 Washington Hills Syrah (2011)
Comments: Very tight on the nose, but what is there shows sweet boysenberry and candied violet notes. Wow, this is fresh and lively in the mouth with an initial burst of blue fruit followed by some lovely dried meat and black raspberry flavors. Very pure, if perhaps a touch sweet, the tannins here are fleshy fruit tannins balanced by juicy if not pronounced acidity all tied together in a lovely hit of pomegranate fruit on the back end and through the modest finish. A little too young, give it three to six months to settle down and drink it over the following year or two for what it is, a lusty little bistro styled wine that is delicious and very easy to drink! 85pts
Average price: $11.79 from 1 store
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6 Kendall-Jackson Vintners Reserve Syrah (2010)
Comments: Fresh and nicely focused on the nose with clean, cedary oak supporting red currant and raspberry fruit topped with some floral violet and vegetal nuances. Low acid and soft on entry, this is rich with black cherry and blackberry fruit over a base of leather, toast and vanilla with a nice edgy feel to the modest tannins and a hint of tar on the back end. The finish is quite attractive with very nice balance between the rather rich fruit and the firm tannins. Perhaps a bit simple, this is nonetheless well-balanced and tasty. 86pts
Average price: $22.99 from 13 stores
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7 Three Coins Syrah (2009)
Comments: Lots of blueberry fruit greets the nose along with some nuanced notes of grilled meats, toasty oak, a touch of black pepper and some fresh balsamic notes. There's plenty of oak here, with lots of vanilla and toasty, oaky flavors wrapped around the core of blackberry and blueberry fruit. There's a pleasant astringency to the tannins, which helps to balance out some of the light sweetness this shows on the mid-palate. The finish is a bit spicier, with more toasty oak and vanilla than fruit, but decent length. A bit rough around the edges and showing some heat, but offers a lot of wine. 87pts
Average price: $28.00 from 2 stores
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8 Earthworks Shiraz Barossa Valley (2010)
Comments: Dark, earthy and woodsy on the nose with hints of sweet cinnamon, floral herbs, candied spiced lingonberries, a little prune and a nice dusting of white pepper. Very precise on entry, this really has fine balance with polished yet firm tannins and well-integrated acidity supporting earth and cocoa-tinged dried dark fruit on the attack. The mid-palate shows a bit of floral/vegetal brightness along with a little spiced lingonberry red fruit that leads to a clean, fresh if darkly flavored finish that ends with a touch of caramel and some peppery spice notes. Nicely done, a bit chunky fruit but nicely supported. 87pts
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9 Cave de Tain Syrah Esprit de Granit Saint Joseph (2010)
Comments: A bit stemmy on the nose with attractive green olive, caper and black pepper aromas over somewhat intrusive new oak. This shows noticeable dry extract in the mouth with a bit of a pasty feel, even though the wine manages to remain fairly fresh feeling. The flavors are decidedly in the red fruit end of the spectrum with a nice herbal edge and a slight stemmy undertone. A touch of dryness appears on the back end along with some green peppercorn spice that vanishes on the modest finish which is dominated by wood tannin. This seems to have had some good raw material, but is a bit too extracted and oaky. 85pts
Previously available for $29.99
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10 Caligiore Syrah Reserve (2010)
Comments: Reticent on the nose with an attractive mix of floral aromas, a hint of minerality, peppery spice and salted plums. Soft and rich in the mouth with low acids and ripe, supple tannins making this broad and deep on the palate. the flavors are very typical Syrah, a touch gamy, spiced with hints of violets and sassafras wrapped around a core of tarry, black cherry plum. This seems like a more expensive wine, not that that is by definition better, but it is rather well done for the price and finishes with decent length and fine persistence to the fruit. It’s probably already fading but still offers attractive drinking. 86pts
Previously available for $15.00
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11 Niner Wine Estates Syrah Paso Robles (2008)
Comments: Dark and mysterious on the nose with game undercurrents and licorice, vanilla and tar accents to the dried plum and black currant fruit. This is a big, rich, powerful wine with a lot of blackness obscuring any detail today. It's smooth and supple, if opaque in the mouth with glimpses of vanilla oak, green olive, and violet along with a note of bitter orange peel, all struggling to reveal themselves on the palate. The finish is a touch short with a bit of coffee oak over blueberry and blackberry fruit, but it's not really showing much either. Tough to score this, it is really well balanced and shows great promise, but it's hiding most of what it's got today. Give it 89pts based on potential with room for significant improvement.
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12 Trione Vineyards Russian River Syrah (2008)
Comments: Dark and spicy on the nose with early hints of cracked black pepper, grilling beef, chocolate, violet pastille and fruit that recalls both black currants and blackberries. A powerful wine and one that surprises on entry with a burst of inner mouth perfumes that range from mint to plum, vanilla and violet. The impact in the mouth is substantial but not sweet, with a fair dose of wood and wood tannin covered by rather rich chocolate covered cherry, dried herb and Italian plum flavors. Wood spice pops on the back end and drives the finish, which shows that even the wood tannins here are rather polished. There's a touch of heat, and nice vanilla and spice notes framing the dried blackberry, blueberry, cinnamon and black plum fruit on the long finish. Big and decidedly New World but very well done in the style. 92pts
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  • 7252401rockiesfan I think Columbia Crest makes a really good Shiraz. For the price, its one of the best

  • 521410ValV Klinker's Brick Petite syrah!

  • 154660zinfandel1 Beckmen syrah especially from Purisima Mountain is my favorite.

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