Wine Talk

Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz

Snooth GTI - Syrah - post your notes here.

Original post by Gregory Dal Piaz, Jan 8, 2009.

Well I have plans to include several Syrahs in this thread over the next 2 weeks but let me begin with one of my favorite Syrah producers. J L Chave and his lovely 1996 Hermitage:

Richly aromatic from the moment this is opened offering up an array of gamy tones to the earthy, blackberry fruit. Integrated in the mouth with the acidity seemingly quite tame in comparison to other bottles. On the cusp of maturity with a rich core of black raspberry and dried cranberry fruit and the acidity pops out a bit on the back end. A very fine, focused wine that lacks the richness of better years but is wonderful when considered on it's own merits. 92pts


Reply by laurafu, Jan 16, 2009.

Just bought a Magnum of the 07 d'Arenberg Laughing Magpie - Great value for money, and a rich but smooth blend of Shiraz -Viognier.

It's one of my fall-back serve-at-any-party wines!

Reply by fibo86, Jan 16, 2009.

d'Arenberg have some of my favorite wines.

Reply by Josh L, Jan 18, 2009.

2005 Scholium Project Iseult Hudson Vineyard - this is a bruiser; massive nose of blueberry, cola, and a mix of black and white pepper and maybe some evergreen; more reticent on the palate; loads of acid and tannin; out of balance at the moment, with the dominant note being sour cherry; interesting, but needs a lot more time; should come around, but the fruit is somewhat hidden in the palate right now.

Reply by Philip James, Jan 18, 2009.

Scholium Project - Thanks Josh, I've been wanting to try their wines for a while now.

Reply by Philip James, Jan 18, 2009.

Here's the Yalumba Shiraz Viognier:

I left full notes on the wine page, but the viognier interacts with the syrah in a unique way - the resultant wine is much juicier, lighter and more fragrant that a typical shiraz. It makes it very easy drinking and i bet non wine lovers would warm to this as a simple to enjoy wine.

Reply by blondon, Jan 18, 2009.

1999 Carlisle Syrah Sonoma County - USA, California, Sonoma County (1/18/2009)
Popped, decanted 30 minutes, drank over 2 hours. Rich purple color, clings to the glass on the swirl before slowly dripping down in thick legs. Nose of rare roast beef, ripe plum tomatoes, tapenade and cocoa. Lush, rich, thick and smooth in the mouth, a blend of dark fruits, coffee, smoke, blood and minerality. Long finish.

Reply by info83, Jan 19, 2009.

1999 Dehlinger Syrah Estate
Nice dark color with hints of rhubarb and mint in the nose and dense black fruit underneath, structured on the palate with dark berry fruit up-front with elegant white pepper spice and dense black cherry fruit in the finsh leading to a long and powerful finish. This is a wine! After a few Aussie Shiraz that last week or so, I am really thinking that I should go back and lower the scores on them since they just don't compare. I know it's not fashionable to rate these "hard to get" wines high, but this one deserves a fair shake.

Reply by ttutony, Jan 19, 2009.

It's I was opening a bottle of wine this evening I saw that Philip had just posted a review of a shiraz viognier blend from the same producer. Here's my take:

2006 Yalumba Y Series Shiraz Viognier (South Australia):
Purple-red in the glass. This wine has an aromatic nose with berries, vanilla, pepper, wood, and other spices that I couldn't quite single out. The palate has lush fruit with dark fruit and berry nuances. Somewhat full body with a soft, supple texture which is probably due in part to the viognier in the blend. The structure of this wine shows fine tannins with bold acidity. Overall, this is a pretty decent wine and at less than $10 it has a good quality to price ratio. 3.5 out of 5.

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Jan 19, 2009.

Killer notes everyone! Love to see what everyone is sharing.

Love those Carlisles Blondon! Mike is doing killer work.

I have yet to try a Scholium that rings my bell J. You found one yet?

Nice job info. That's a pretty old Syrah by most folks standards, really great to see a note on it!

I just want to ask everyone to post their notes to the wine's pages so people researching that wine will be able to easily find these wonderfully useful resources!

Reply by Ouguiya, Jan 19, 2009.

MY addition to this discourse is Lindemans Bin 50 Shiraz 2006. This is a distinctively full-bodied, darkly hued shiraz with blackberry, plum, prune and spice flavors. It garnered my attention with the fist whiff and sniff. The nose reveals aromas reminiscent of licorice and blueberry. Thsi is now my valued shiraz of choice. This Aussie wine is well worth your attention. I enjoyed it with an indoor mid-winter barbecue. I must admit that I am intrigued by several recommendations in the above posts. I will certainly try a few of them. Thanks for all the passionate commentary.

Reply by blondon, Jan 19, 2009.

2005 Villa Creek Avenger...I know its not pure syrah (65% syrah, 25% mourvedre, 10% grenache), but it is delicious...

Decanted 2 hours. Smoky nose interlaced with floral highlights. Bright fruit on the palate, fresh, clean, long and smooth. I love the element that the mourvedre adds, earthy, robust. It highlights the brightness of the grenache and enhances the subtle notes of the syrah.

Update: Its now 5 hours open and this is singing like Stevie Nicks, sultry, deep, spicy, sexy...gained weight, aromatics (now getting dark roast coffee and chocolate notes) and is pure velvet in the mouth...

Reply by Ken V, Jan 20, 2009.

2003 Massena Shiraz "The 11th Hour" Barossa Valley

Opened about 5pm with baked ziti to celebrate the inauguration. Powerful nose of ripe blackberry jam. Thick luscious jammy and delicious. Long red and black berry finish. Still very young. Probably better in 5-10 years. 92-94 points.

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Jan 21, 2009.

Great notes everyone!

Love the detail we're getting.

Today is Snooth's PTP blind tasting of Syrah!

Follow my notes on Twitter beginning after 6pm!

Look out tomorrow for a few more wine here!

Thanks to everyone participating!

Reply by syrahlover, Jan 21, 2009.

Here in Napa we have some really wonderful Syrahs. I fell in love with Syrah while doing research for my website. I was so inspired by it that I featured wineries that made great syrahs, go to:

SInce then I have come across many other great Syrahs from boutique wineries in the Napa Valley.

2005 Black Cat Vineyard-this from the Coombsville are in Napa.
2005 HdV-the fruit comes from Carneros.
2006 Culler Syrahs, one from Napa, on from Sonoma
2004 Broman Cellars-Napa Valley
ANYTHING from Renard, but the Kick Ranch Syrah is my favorite.
2005 P.B. Hein Syrah, Napa Valley.

These wineries are all based in Napa Valley, all are very small prodcution.

To learn more about small producers in the Napa Valley go to

Reply by vigna uva vino, Jan 22, 2009.

Blind Tasting of Twelve Syrahs

At Snooth's tasting room I had the opportunity to sample 12 Syrahs selected by Greg Dal Piaz. They were all 100% Syrah varietal, so it still amazes me how much of a range there was in the flights. A few common threads were the high alcohol content (a 14.57% average), full body, dark fruits, black pepper and spices. (Please note all bottles were opened 2.5 hours before tasting). So here they are, a powerfully dirty dozen.

2006 Neyers Napa Valley California - Hudson Vineyards Syrah 14.1% - $40

On the nose a funky barnyard waft and later opened but showed a medicinal aroma, while up front on the palate dark sour cherries and mainly black pepper in the mid palate.

2004 Burgess Napa Valley Syrah 14.7% - $20

Perfumed aromas, lilac, and a playful candy twist, fresh-cut wood or bark peeled back, green peppers, spices and a bit of raw onions with a cola finish. Liked it.

2005 LaTour Vineyards Napa Valley California Syrah 14.8% - $26.50

On the nose mushrooms and turned soil, black cherries and tannic structure.

2006 Alesia Santa Lucia Highlands California Fairview Ranch Vineyard Syrah 14.25% - $60

On the nose getting vinegar, sulphur, cat pee, and meats, while on the palate dark fruits, coffee, chocolate and blackberry...with smooth integration of flavors somewhat redeeming the rough aromas.

2006 Snoqualme Columbia Valley Washington State Syrah 13.9% - $12

Muted aromas of dried herbs lead into a diluted texture and a palate of ash, wood, blueberries, dried fruits and a dusty glycerine.

2006 Luca Laborde Double Select Syrah Uco Valley Mendoza, Argentina 13.9% - $25

Simple bouquet of toasted red fruit and barnyard, balanced, chewy, white pepper, blueberries with great finish... very nice.

2006 Stolpman Santa Ynez Valley Estate Syrah 15.1% - $30

On the nose, herbal and violets with specks of meat, flavors of sweet stewed tomatoes, white pepper, alcohol, red fruits and candy. Good one.

2005 Firestone Santa Ynez Valley California Syrah 13.5% - $18

Nose of petrol, oak, butter with a subtle diluted leather, fizzles on the midpalate.

2004 Zaca Mesa Santa Ynez Valley California Estate Syrah 14.5% - $20

Strawberries, meat, herbs, burnt rubber, dust, wood, fairly balanced.

2006 Dry Stack Cellars (aka Grey Stack) Dry Stack Vineyard Bennett Valley California Marie's Block Syrah 15.5% - $40

Earthy mushroom, meat, barnyard, black pepper, blackberries, sharp ripe fruits and very high alcohol.

2006 Grey Stack - Dry Stack Vineyard - Bennett Valley California The Narcissist Syrah 15.8% $48

Muted aromas of raw meat, on the palate alcohol, stout tannins, oak, chalky mid-palate, and a sour cherry finish.

2006 Four Vines Santa Barbara County California los Alamos Vineyard - One Tree Hill Block Syrah 14.8% $36

Bigger and fruity with cherry cola on the nose and a palate of violets, spices... medicinal but in a natural way, very herbal finish... my favorite of the twelve.

Reply by Derek67, Jan 22, 2009.

Unti 2003 Dry Creek Valley Syrah: Full of blackberry, spice and earth. Very full-bodied and a real toothstainer. Good acidity and very food friendly. Suggest to pair with roast chicken and root veggies.

Reply by Mark Angelillo, Jan 22, 2009.

I'll follow up with my reviews from last night's panel tasting too -- same as @vigna uva vino.

Thanks for a nice tasting, Greg!

Neyers Hudson Vineyards Syrah (2006)
Ruby red color. Aroma is bright, slightly heated with a nice scent of blackberry jam. Flavors are potent, very bright ripe cherries with tannins hiding away until the finish, where they feature prominently alongside black licorice and leather.

Burgess Syrah Napa Valley (2004)
Powdered sugar deep fruit nose, very warm and inviting, with a layer of crushed flowers on top. Palate is quite smooth and texture is almost creamy, an undercurrent of tannic roughness on the finish. A bit of licorice disappears quickly.

Latour Syrah (2005)
Second tasting. Nose is a bit light on the fruit. A bit of a harsher bite of tannin to start. Maybe a bit of herbs and spice. Medicinal, eucalyptus, menthollated.

Alesia Syrah Santa Lucia Highlands Fairview Ranch Vineyard (2004)
My favorite of the Snooth Tasting Panel selections. A bit of barnyard and red fruit on the nose. Bright, hot palate with a bright acidity. Has a medicinal, meaty midpalate with a fungal, mushroomy finish. What a combo there.

Snoqualmie Syrah (2006)
Barnyard, manured nose. Palate has a nice texture. Nothing outstanding, but there's a bit of eucalyptus and some leather. Pretty boring.

Luca Syrah Laborde Double Select (2006)
Brighter, powdered sugar nose, red fruits and candy aromas. Flavors are near cloying, very red and ripe. The tannins are sharp, though, and complimentary and drying on the finish but that's welcome here.

Stolpman Vineyards Estate Santa Ynez Syrah (2006)
Molasses nose and flavors. It's hot but also extremely sweet. Wow, that's cloying. The tannins save it at the end... a little.

Firestone Vineyard Syrah Central Coast Santa Ynez Valley (2005)
Vapor nose (nothing there!). Palate is tangy and leathery with a larger red fruit character. Nice licorice flavors and a fresh crisp refreshing acidity. Long finish adorned with pepper.

Zaca Mesa Syrah Estate Bottled Santa Ynez Valley (2004)
Bit of a funk on the nose. Palate with hints of meat and leather, some eucalyptus with the leather carrying through to the finish where it meets some earthiness and a medicinal quality.

Dry Stack Cellars Syrah Maries Block (2006)
Heated, bright red fruit nose. Palate is hot, bright, sharp, processed, hot, HOT, with rough tannins and leather, and a bit of medicine.

Grey Stack The Narcissist Syrah (2006)
Funky, fungal but heated nose. Tastes of sugar and cola. Bit of red fruit and some heavy medicine on the finish.

Four Vines Syrah One Tree Hill Block Los Alamos Vineyard (2006)
Bright, medicinal roasted nose. Crisp palate of licorice, ripe berries, a bit of tannin, some pepper on the finish with anise.

Reply by akalienekana, Jan 24, 2009.

I'm enjoying reading everyone's tasting notes. I love wine, but haven't really gotten into it on an educational level until now. I'm learning so will taste, watch, and absorb here. Tonight I enjoyed a 2006 Columbia Winery Red Willow South Chapel Syrah. Advertised as silky and that it was.

Reply by brooklynwino, Jan 25, 2009. this is my first posting. I am a HUGE procrastinator so I am not surprised that I have waited until the last day. Since it is so late, I wanted to make it a decent one. Here ya go, GDP.
The 2002 Ojai Vineyard Syrah White Hawk Vineyard

Hope I did this right. I chose a Cali Syrah as I don't know them as well as I should. This is the kind of weather that demands a big boy wine in a big boy glass. I am happy to report that there was sufficient complexity in this bottle and the alcohol (14%) didn't completely overwhelm the fruit. By the way, I bought the last bottle Astor had. There is the Thompson Vineyard available for $64.99 a pop. Same vintage.
Okay, back to watching Federer who is down two sets. Sigh.

Reply by MarioRobles, Jan 25, 2009.

Yerign Station Reserve Shiraz Viognier 2006
A great cool-climate Shiraz with a more Rhone-like character... the viognier is lifting teh Shiraz characters to great levels though it is cleverly hidden behind all the spices and earthy characters... a wine to enjoy slowly... ! 95 points

D'arenberg Dear Arm Shiraz 2002
Beautiful balance with enough fruit to carry the oak with elegance. . A beautiful, powerful, yet elegant example of great McLaren Vale Shiraz. With 10+ years more to go...! 94 points

Brokenwood Graveyard Shiraz 2006
Awesome balance... French oak, definitely an "artisan's wine" ... almost flawless... a bit young now (2008) but with great potential... Hunter Shiraz tends to be earthy and 'leathery' but this wine is more like a blend of McLaren Vale and Yarra Valle Shiraz... 94 points

Continue to the end of the thread to reply
Back to Categories

Top Contributors This Month

127503 Snooth User: rckr1951
29 posts
847804 Snooth User: EMark
26 posts
324443 Snooth User: outthere
10 posts


View All

Snooth Media Network