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 Vintage2006 Label 1 of 6 
ProducerNovy Family Wines (web)
VineyardGarys' Vineyard
SubRegionCentral Coast
AppellationSanta Lucia Highlands

Drinking Windows and Values
Drinking window: Drink between 2008 and 2016 (based on 14 user opinions)

Community Tasting History

Community Tasting Notes (average 91.5 pts. and median of 91 pts. in 49 notes) - hiding notes with no text

 Tasted by thiel045 on 3/21/2015 & rated 95 points: Tasted originally in 2009, this Novy Syrah Gary's Vineyard has evolved into a stunning wine! Removed from my temp-controlled cellar, I popped and poured. Loads of fruit, white pepper, and last forever with a lingering, complex finish. There is no hint the cliff is near but at the same time, this seems to be at its peak. Drink soon and enjoy! (193 views)
 Tasted by bin905 on 5/28/2014 & rated 90 points: Herb, pepper and ripe dark fruit scent. Chewy, berry, fig, tobacco, mocha, earth and licorice flavor with ample tannins. Undoubtedly, those who like this style would rate it much higher. After a lengthly breathing it integrated and improved significantly. (552 views)
 Tasted by bin905 on 1/11/2014 & rated 89 points: Deep red color. Initially it has a musty forest scent which subsides somewhat after breathing. Then, it shows green pepper, black pepper, dark fruit and cedar forest (heavy, woody) scent. The thick and viscous palate has black current, tar and mocha flavor with ample tannins on the finish. It is a bit clumsy and heavy for my taste. (663 views)
 Tasted by Night Train on 12/31/2013 & rated 92 points: Big time white pepper. Served at a new year's eve party, and it stood out among a bunch of pretty good wines. Holding up just fine. (678 views)
 Tasted by cbbrown3 on 5/30/2013 & rated 94 points: The wine is a deep purple color. The exciting nose has blackberries, licorice, baking spices, charred meat, grapefruit zest, black pepper, dried herbs, earthy underbrush, vanilla, and violets. This has medium body, moderate tannins, and very good acidity. On the palate spicy berries, pepper, and a twist of grapefruit dominate the front end with dried herbs and meaty elements coming in on the backend. The finish is very long and flavorful with some earthy elements and the grapefruit zest seeming to last forever. This is in a very nice drinking window, but there is no hurry on this one, it should last in the cellar for at least a few more years. (1012 views)
 Tasted by stubbie999 on 3/3/2013: Initially, a blast of grapefruit on top of more typical dark berry flavor; with a few hours open, the citrus recedes (though still plays an important role) and roasted meat, funk and deep, deep fruit round out palate. Really delicious, and I suspect it is only entering maturity now, and could go for a while. No rush. (772 views)
 Tasted by Wine Nut on 3/3/2013 & rated 90 points: Wow has this wine ever gone down hill since I last had it. Parker appears to be right on the drinking window for this one. I believe it has hit its peak. The wine just couldn't get better. It was like the Little Engine that couldn't. Lovely color and nose but unfortunately the wine fell flat. The fruit is lacklustre at best and the finish is uninspiring. I will probably give my last 3 bottles away! (973 views)
 Tasted by emdub on 2/2/2013 & rated 90 points: Just a great wine at a great price. Not my favorite expression of Garys' Vineyard, but a very good one. (741 views)
 Tasted by Anonymous on 1/26/2013: Had last night at our traditional Friday evening sushi dinner. Yes we violated all known universal law about what to drink with sushi but somehow we survived. To be honest, I typically get a lot of tuna and reds go quite well with it.

Anyway, the wine struck us both as young. Dark red on opening with funk still present it took a long while to open up - at least 45 minutes. During that time it tasted tight but you could sense some depth and complexity underneath. My guess is that with a full hour or two decant you get a solid syrah with more flavorful dark red fruit than we had as by the last glass it was starting to come through. Very earthy as well which I love. (743 views)
 Tasted by Night Train on 11/23/2012 & rated 92 points: Out of six stellar wines at T-day dinner, this was the star. Big, dark, and juicy alright, but what a jolt of white pepper! Rich and silky, with a terrific finish. (657 views)
 Tasted by dmatley on 11/1/2012 & rated 92 points: So sad to see my last bottle go. Just a great example of a big, dark, juicy Novy SLH syrah. While it has certainly mellowed, this wine just keeps on going. I left a couple inches in the bottle and before I poured it out the next day, I figured I should just taste it first--wow! The wine filled out a little more and that last glass a day later was just a delight! Drink or hold--your choice. (634 views)
 Tasted by Frank Murray III on 8/5/2012: This wine is still going strong. Black pepper, jerky and good solid fruit. The finish is still lively and so there's no rush to drink this now. (1116 views)
 Tasted by sirwine on 1/3/2012 & rated 89 points: Was expecting more, but I think this wine needs more bottle age. Still slightly tannic and very dry on the palate. Nice fruit notes of dark pit fruits. Decanted and improved over time. (1079 views)
 Tasted by texaswinelover on 12/13/2011 & rated 91 points: Quite nice. High toned but ripe fruited. I love the meaty notes. Great qpr. (1251 views)
 Tasted by norsktorsk on 12/11/2011 & rated 88 points: This is not ready yet. Stemmy. (1147 views)
 Tasted by emdub on 11/24/2011 & rated 91 points: No formal notes. Love this vineyard. (1167 views)
 Tasted by cbbrown3 on 8/9/2011 & rated 93 points: Decanted about 90 minutes. Deep purple color. Blackberry, licorice, blueberry, smoked meat, pepper, baking spices, dried herbs, and a bit of vanilla and a floral note on the nose. Medium body with solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity. Big and spicy on the palate with the fruit and the herbs and spices all coming through loud and clear. A bit of tar adds extra complexity on the long spicy finish. Drinking very nicely, but there is absolutely no hurry on this wine, it may actually improve with more cellar time. (1229 views)
 Tasted by Night Train on 7/16/2011 & rated 92 points: The real deal. Opened about 90 minutes before tasting, Opaque. Tight at first, but opened up over the next half hour or so. Blueberries, red meat, and pepper - what more do you want? Full body, plush texture, mouthfilling fruit. Big, but not huge and ponderous. Long, almost silky finish. Probably at the start of its prime drinking window. (1285 views)
 Tasted by Frank Murray III on 5/23/2011: My last bottle. I previously wrote up this wine in September of 2010, and after seeing Joe's note from last week posted, I figured I would try one and see if I agreed with him. No heat in this wine, although it provides a good sized texture. I opened this last night, and it seemed pretty tart but that subsided overnight and as I said, it picked up weight (which was the same unfolding that the last bottle showed). The moral here is to decant this wine to let it unfold all of the weight, to get a better experience of the wine. The palate shows a good deal of dark fruit, some bbq'd elements and some meat. As I told my wife when I was enjoying this tonight over dinner, "if I was a steak eater, this would be a nice match: dark, good intensity and can stand up to a piece of cooked cow" or something like that. And back to Joe's comment, I like the wine a bit more than he did, and while I seem to be enjoying the same palate evolution too, I can still enjoy a wine like this but it's got some decent shoulers on it. As for aging curve, I'd say it can go another few years as there si still some acid left in it but the fruit is squarely in charge so my advice is drink through 2012 and enjoy it now. (1747 views)
 Tasted by glaze3 on 5/21/2011: Decanted almost 2 hours and drank over 4. Let me start by saying that my palate over the last year and a half has really moved away from these bigger Syrahs that being said I have always loved SLH Syrah, so I went into this bottle with an open mind. Upon opening the nose was raw beef, barnyard, and smashed plum. The raw beef continues on the palate as almost pure beef blood with lots of iron notes and fresh ground pepper all surrounding a core deep dark fruits. There is some nice acidity keeping it lively but still a little brooding and not quite enough juicy verve to hold my attention. Not a bad wine, but just was a little too much for more than a couple glasses. Ready to go with a small bit of air. (1984 views)
 Tasted by kanab ram on 3/5/2011: This was all about the pepper. Pepper on the nose, palate, and finish. It was hard to get any secondary notes because the pepper was so overwhelming. If that's your style or what your looking for to pair then this is your wine. (1621 views)
 Tasted by stubbie999 on 12/9/2010: Usually when I put down descriptions like molten blackberry and black cherry it's followed by some combination of jammy/over-ripe/flabby. Not so here - this wine is finally finding its footing. That pure dark fruit is supported by great syrah meaty/gamy-ness, along with a little black pepper (and spearmint?!); more importantly, a surprising dose of acidity lifts the whole package and hangs it off enough tannic structure to keep the whole thing together. Perhaps a bit shrill by itself (or early in the decant), later - and with a white bean/kielbasa/bacon/mushroom stew - it's on point and stunning, one of those sip-bite-sip-bite matches that eats its own tail like an Ouroboros. My only concern for the rest of my bottles was a cork stained all the way to the top, but this bottle wasn't compromised. (1800 views)
 Tasted by Frank Murray III on 9/22/2010: My last note from April 2009 said wait 12-18 months. So, I used my own advice and opened one of these tonight, 17 months since the last one. Pull the cork, pour, a blast of black peppercorn, ground fresh, smoke and cooked meat. I haven't had a steak in over 25 years but knowing what they smell like with all the spices and how I remember them tasting, this is like liquid cow. The palate has softened up quite a bit and remains juicy in texture, like the previous bottle, some tar and saddle in the wine too, even some funk which I do not recall in the wine from the last bottle. The acidity still remains quite high in this wine, joined with the juiciness, making it an energized drink. With the aromatics and texture and nuance, kind of a sauvage ride through the SLH. I wonder what this wine does with a day or so of air?.....and with a day of air, and helped by my son-in-law, we finished the bottle in quick fashion. I would edit my comment from y/day and remove the 'sauvage' comment, as aeration fattened the palate. It still rings through, however, with good focus and vibrance and should go another 12-18 months until it peaks. Drink window would be now (with decant) through 2013. (1896 views)
 Tasted by TD2Irish on 8/15/2010 & rated 91 points: Popped and poured at a friends house last night. What a great nose, blood, barnyard, mushrooms, leather, smoked meat and sweet black cherries. I was pleasantly suprised how well resolved this wine was and the alcohol did burn the nose or wash out the finish. I have served this wine at blind tastings and it is always guessed as a much more expensive Rhone, either a Cote Rotie or a CDP. (1978 views)
 Tasted by glaze3 on 3/20/2010: Decanted 1 hour, drank over 3. The nose is loaded with dark fruits and lots of smoke, on the palate the smoke is the predominate feature with the dark fruits really coming across as muted and rather soft. The finish is plagued with some oak that adds some bitterness. Not my favorite Gary's and honestly could use more time and may just be in a dumb phase. (2141 views)
 Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...

CellarTracker Wiki Articles (login to edit | view all articles)

Novy Family Wines

Producer Website


Varietal article (Wikipedia) | (Wines Northwest)

Garys' Vineyard

Appellation: Santa Lucia Highlands
Planted: 1997
Total Vineyard Acreage: 50 acres
Varietals: Pinot Noir, Syrah
Clone/ Rootstock: Pisoni Clone planted to 3309 and 5C
Exposure: Southeast
Trellising: VSP Bilateral
Spacing: 6x8 and 5x8
Vines per acre: 1089 and 908
Soils: Arroyo Seco Sandy loam
Climate: A marine climate highlighted by strong coastal winds blowing off Monterey bay make for foggy mornings, breezy afternoons and a long, drawn out growing season. Average summertime high temperatures are in the mid 70's.

The Garys’ Vineyard is a joint venture between two
native growers of the Santa Lucia Highlands. Gary
Pisoni and Gary Franscioni planted this 50-acre
vineyard to Pinot Noir and Syrah in 1997. Its location
on a sloping hillside in the center of the 16-mile long
appellation offers a true representation of the Santa
Lucia Highlands.

From Club Testarossa June 2013 tasting notes:

In the hierarchy of great California vineyards, it doesn't get much better than Garys' - the eponymous
collaboration of winegrowers Gary Pisoni and Gary Franscioni - one of the most famous estates on the
West Coast. The Wine Enthusiast designates Garys' vineyard as the closest vineyard to an "American Grand

Just off of Highway 101 about 80 miles south of San Jose takes you to the heart of the Santa Lucia
Highlands Appellation - home to Garys' Vineyard. Owned jointly by the Pisoni and Franscioni families and
managed by Mark Pisoni and Gary Franscioni, this is one of the crown jewels for Pinot Noir collectors.
"We view our vineyard as multi-generational commitments to growing grapes that can produce the most
remarkable and balanced wines."

Testarossa has one of the longest running, closest relationships with the vineyard - the 2011 vintage marks
our thirteenth release from Garys' The Highlands close proximity to Monterey Bay's cool climate make for
one of California's longest growing seasons. The vineyard's sloping orientation on the southeast facing
bench on sandy, gravelly loam soils provides just the right mix of sun, wind, and fog. Testarossa's section of
Garys' Vineyard is three pristine acres of the famous "Pisoni Clone" Pinot Noir, originally planted in 1997.


WineAmerica (National Association of American Wineries) | Free the Grapes!


California Wines (Wine Institute of California)

California is one of the most diverse wine regions in the world, with almost 100 grape varieties grown in over 100 viticultural areas, including dozens of ­different microclimates and soil types, as well as a very individualistic set of ­winemakers, many with international experience, which adds to and deepens that diversity.

Central Coast

Central Coast Wine Growers Association

ABOVE WEBSITE NO LONGER EXISTS - Following websites may provide info. for CA Central Coast wineries and organizations (valid as of March 2015):


Santa Lucia Highlands

Appellation: Wine Artisans of Santa Lucia Highlands | Winegeeks article

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