2010 Halcon Vineyards Syrah Alturas

Community Tasting Notes

Community Tasting Notes (68) Avg Score: 91.6 points

  • My third of three bottles, and by far the best. I don't recall enjoying this much at all before, but now, three years later, it's great. Solid core of dark fruit, good acidity, great savory nose. I will try not to make the mistake of opening these too soon again.

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  • This was surprisingly fantastic. Nose of smoke, meat, and blueberry. Dark fruit on the palate with earthy and gamey flavors. Excellent complexity and a long finish. I aerated into the decanter, and it was best after an hour more of air.

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  • Good, not as juicy as last year tasty drink up and enjoy now

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  • Continuing to improve as it ages in bottle - and really shows how good this '10 vintage is proving to be for syrahs from Sonoma/north coast. It still takes at least a day to open, and is best after 2 days plus. Great balance as has been noted, the tannins still show some hints of sandpaper, and the acidity is just awesome. Really solid dark fruits, great earthiness (some shrooms and flintiness) and a nicely tapering finish as an afterthought. I don't see this one fading for another 10 plus years and am looking forward to how it improves after this year.

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  • Consistent with previous bottle. Oak seemed a bit more prominent this time around but overall, this is fantastic Cali syrah.

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  • The nose is a 'wow' mix of smoke, meat and dark fruit. The flavors show blackberry, blueberry, black cherry, grilled meat, earth and a bit of smoke. Medium+ acid, medium tannins and a long finish. Young but drinking well now and still a long life ahead of it.

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  • QPR alert! One of the best $25 syrahs I have ever had, just entering a great drinking window, tannins still very present but just enough to give it structure and interest, not at teeth-melting levels. Spice & fruit in equal doses and a pleasure to drink. Decant 1 hour or more and enjoy with grilled meats, stew, or burgers.

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  • Great immediately on opening and then some. A terrific syrah, and my favorite vintage of the first 3. Comparable: Paul Goldschmidt.

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  • Good fruit , velvey tannins, easy drinking, good qpr

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  • Perhaps this wine is just not for me. Lots of other people like it but it just doesn't due it for me. Maybe with a couple more years of ageing I'll like it more.

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  • Lovely texture on the wine with great finesse, a fantastic syrah it is new world in style but the balance is impeccable,

    Conc: a winner from cali

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  • Boy, this is a zinger of a wine. A collision of acidity and earthy black/red fruit that together expresses a zesty side of syrah. It's got that loamy, mulchy type of finish with a bucket of black raspberry fruit that is tart, along with some savory aspects that shade it all, I suspect from whole cluster? This took a long while to open up, as I started the bottle y/day and finished about 1/2, then retasting today with a clear difference that was added by the slow ox exposure it's seen under the open cork. This is a terrific wine, zesty yet not without fruit and pretty squarely in a lower alc camp, with a bright expression. Given the acidity and persistent fruit here, this oughta age well and as this was my only bottle, I won't be able to report back. I'd suggest a drink window of say now (with air) through 2020. Was a gift from Andrew C--thanks man!

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  • Dark fruit and licorice. Still quite chewy over a couple of hours.

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  • Dark fruits, licorice, herbs, spice. Pretty easy to drink given it's age. Quite nice.

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  • blackberries, some bacon fat. very viscous and smooth/creamy palate feel.

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  • Decanted for 2+ hours. Nose was restrained with subtle floral, smoke, dark fruit. Palate is med to full with a firm acidic texture. This is still young and needs more time in the cellar. Will revisit towards the end of 2014. 5,13,14,6=88

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  • I should put a timed lock on my final bottle of this; it's great now, but only getting better. Focussed, very dark fruit, nice acids, powerful minerals - RDHUDAK's note of "dusty cellar" is spot on. Tannins have integrated substantially since my last vist. I am so curious to drink this wine in 2020, but I bet I don't have the patience to wait that long.

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  • This bottle was awesome! Surprisingly developed, (56 in my LeCache) this was very smooth. N: Dark fruit, tobacco. P: Berry cobbler and much more integrated than before, even surprisingly so. Smooth tannins and balanced acidity, despite my former feelings that this had too much acidity. F:Medium with more fruit and earth. This wine was very balanced and really showed well. I thought I had more and wish I had saved this bottle, although it was an outstanding addition to grilled NY Strips. This has a long life ahead. I did save 3/4 of a bottle for tomorrow and will report. 91++
    Day 3: Powerful nose of dark fruit and black cherry with a hint of smoke and dusty cellar. P: Dark fruit, black cherry, plum, black licorice and some sour cherry. F: Medium with balanced tannins and medium+ acidity. This is delicious and it doesn't hurt that the winemaker, Paul, is such a cool guy to deal with. Great QPR and wish I had several more bottles of this vintage. 91-92

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  • Not as pleasant as prior bottles...seemed shut down and in need of serious aging.

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  • Inky black color. The nose is a powerful blend of dark cherry, iron, minerals, smoked meats, light oak, and spice. The palate is plummy with tart apple skin, Necco wafer, violets, and pepper. This wine is medium-bodied with evident tannins and solid acidity. The finish is dark with good fruit and solid tannins. Overall, this wine is youthful but well made with lots of character.

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  • Très belle Syrah, fait vraiment Rhône Nord comme style, frais et digeste.
    Nez sur les herbes, les mures et les épices.
    En bouche, belle minéralité avec du fruit noir....passablement long!

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  • Popped and poured. Medium purple color. Nice nose right out of the bottle with purple floral notes, black pepper, some ripe dark blue fruit and a touch of old wood. Similar flavors on the palate with the pepper and floral notes really coming through with a slightly tart blackberry preserve flavor on the back end. Medium acid and tannins with a lighter body and overall profile for Cali syrah which was quite nice. Everyone enjoyed this quite a bit and this is really a fantastic QPR as well.

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  • Thanksgiving Eve 4 continent tasting of 5 2010 syrahs: 6 tasters. This came in second, very close to first. Very nice. I think this vintage may be the best of the Halcon's.

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  • Encore une fois très belle bouteille...Merci à mon ami Proprio Paul Gordon pour les bouteilles.
    Du fruit noir et des épices, belle équilibre et assez long.
    Excellent!

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  • This bottle was not open at all. Definitely showing its youth. Only open about 30 minutes. So, decant, decant, decant.

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  • Only reason to sit on these is if you only purchased a couple of them. Big fruit with plenty of tannin. Sit on the 09's and drink these now.

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  • This seems tight and certainly drank better on day 2. I would still hold these for a while. Cool climate Syrah. Nice blackberry fruit. Some bacon fat and black pepper on the nose. Good acidity. Nice balance. Drinks richer on day 2. Very nice and should improve.

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  • Consumed over 3 nights. 1st night PnP & PnV and drank a glass over 1+ hour; had the rest over next 2 nights. Recall this as young & tight at first, then slowly yielding w/bright red and dark berries, herbs, graphite/iron, minerality, and lush lingering finish. Seemed tighter/younger and more closed than '09 at the same stage in their evolution.

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  • Popped and ran through the vinturi. Much more open than 9 months ago. The nose was full of dark berries and stone with more dark fruit and mineral on the palate. Gripping tannins, mouth-watering acidity and a lengthy finish put this in the same category as cool climate Syrahs that are double or triple the price. 92+

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  • Consistent with my previous note; more smokiness and less tart on the palate. Also still am getting some of that slight floral component like violets as well.

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  • Wow. This is quite a treat. The nose is fragrant, beautiful, floral, and the mouthfeel is like silk yet with minerality, strong acidity, and sultry dark fruit flavors with a long lingering finish. This wine is priced so well, the QPR is outstanding. Worth seeking out.

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  • On the PnP, this wine is insanely energetic on the palate. There's a palpable zing that I think is from the acid. 24 hours later and the wine has calmed down and it is delicious. The tannins are not too harsh and the fruit is beautiful. This is exactly what a cool-climate syrah should be. These can sleep for years, and the rest of mine will, but don't be afraid to pop one now. Leave it for a day, though, IMO.

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  • Lovely aromas of raspberry, blackberry, smoke, pepper and herbs. The palate is layered with red & dark fruit, a hint of cocoa, pepper, smoke and violets. Shows its cool-climate origins, structured with medium acidity and fine tannins. Very young now, this was still singing when I finished the bottle three full days after being opened. Very balanced & enjoyable.

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  • Same as previous bottle. Very good.

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  • Dark, nearly opaque garnet, has a brooding intensity, dark, plummy, meaty, with hints of cloves and anise, good acidity, medium fine tannins. Only criticism would be a somewhat modest finish, but otherwise this is beautiful wine, and an amazing QPR. Remember this is most definitely cool climate, high mountain vineyard; don't look for the intensity or plushness/sweetness of a warmer climate wine.

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  • Opened on Friday, poured and let sit in glass for 30 minutes. First sip was super tart and tight and not enjoyable. I then remembered this was a wine that needed a lot of time to unwind. Corked and put back into the fridge for two days. Consumed half on Sunday with grilled burgers and sausage and the other on Monday. With the extra 48 and 72 hours this wine shines. Such pleasure.

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  • Given 3 hours in a decanter, this tasted like what I would expect from a young Northern Rhone wine. 4 left are going deep into storage for at least a couple of years--wish I knew I could have a bottle to try in 7-10 years, but I doubt I'll be able to keep away from them for all too long. 92 with potential for more with age.

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  • Opened up 2 hrs before having, initial sip told me needs to lay side ways. Came to it in evening nice vibrant nose of raspberry very pure and primary but good quality. On the palate Dark flavours, with up lifted red cranberry/raspberry fruit with hints of chocolate and dirt mixed with a background note of oak its well intergrated and balanced

    Conc: Really pleasant would like to see it in 5years bet its a beauty

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  • Wow. I think my first bottle must have been a bit closed down from travel shock... I was underwhelmed then, but now this stuff is singing. Gorgeous mouthfeel, rich and silky. Deep dark fruit, plenty of well-balanced acids, and nicely complex with a long finish.

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  • Decanted 4 hrs on night one and poured a taste. Double decanted and saved in cellar under cork for night 2. First night was tart, tight and tannic. Night 2 it blossomed into a great bottle of wine. Ripe blackberry, iron, smoked bacon and blood. Palate picked up weight and texture was dense. Lingering dark red fruit with a tart long finish. Paired with Blackened Chicken Caesar Salad and it was killer. Unreal QPR!

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  • Definitely young, but so so good. A bit more red than blue, at least compared to the '09. Clean fruit, balanced acidity, and big tannins. The tannins might be a bit much for some, but I think most folks would love this even now. In a few years, this will be insane.

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  • Decanted for 8 hours prior. Color a dark deep purple. Extremely viscous with flowing legs. Nose somewhat restrained. It does present some floral aromas, perhaps violet, along with a minerality and wet stone. Palate is very tight and tangy with a on the initial taste. Gets better over time. The texture is rich and full. This wine will be much better in a few years and I have scored based upon that. Will drink my 09's for now. 5,12,15,8=90

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  • Decanted on day 1 for about an hour, drank one glass. At that time the star was the nose. Returned to bottle. Day 2: while I suppose I generally prefer more depth on the mid to back end, the overall symmetry and QPR are stupendous. A savory core has enough lift and sweetness to work. Restrained but not austere. Fun to drink across every sip. Cool climate Syrah FTW. Hard to imagine this won't end up being the best $20 wine (with case discount) I drink this year. 91+

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  • WAAAAY too young.

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  • WAIT A YEAR

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  • double decanted, and later decanted again. Upon opening, the nose was moderately revealing, but tight, tight tight on the palate, ending with a moderate, if incongruous finish. This did open slightly after about 4 hours. On the next day, it did round out, to show some fruit and spice on the palate. Clearly, this needs time.

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  • The bottle was consumed over three days, and enjoyed with "comfort" meals on days two and three, which helped in its appreciation; definitely a food friendly wine.
    The score is more for the potential of the wine, as well as its current complexity, which didn't fully show until the last day of consumption. On day #1, RJ's notes are deadly accurate, especially with the tanginess on the initial mouthfeel and the following midpalate. What was most amazing though was the volumptuousness of the nose, an "OMG" moment in sweet floral richness. After that nose, the flavor in the mouth really couldn't compete. And the finish was very abrupt, with some bing cherry flavors coming along at the tail-end. I enjoyed the wine at that point, but had some concerns. Day two allowed for the tart flavors to subside and a much more promising cali blackberry/pepper profile to show itself, with an interesting touch of leather and mushrooms. Overall, a much more fulfilling flavor profile than day #1. The last glass or so was left for day #3 and that experience allowed for this much improved score and desire to locate more bottles (a minimum of six would allow for an exciting journey through the next decade or so with this wine). The wine really filled out, as the nose gave itself up almost completely. A rich and complex midpalate presented itself, with wonderful dark fruits and enticing spices, almost more flavors that could be properly discerned. If you have multiple bottles, enjoy the nose immediately after opening, but decant for several hours if you would prefer a more northerly rhone experience with a meal. And by all means get ready for a wonderful ride in syrah richness over the next 15 years if you can hold off that long in opening your stash.

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  • As others have mentioned, this wine if very tight on day one with bracing acidity and a muted nose. Corked and left on the counter for a couple of days (only missing about half a glass) and revisited. On the nose, deep blackberry, red raspberry, violet and earth. Lush fruit on the palate with a chalky mineral finish. Young in structure, but drinking well and much more open than the '09. At $20, this is a ridiculous qpr.

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  • So much tightness, fruit and tannins when first opened. Needed to sit about 30 minutes before really opening up and then, wow. An elevated, vibrant balance in the nose, with a lingering blackberry finish. Went well with a sativa-dominant hybrid like Pineapple Thai, even better to relax with a good body high from a Romulan or Romulan substrain.

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  • Better on day two...

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  • Decanted 12hours, and consumed over 2 days. Day one blue and black fruit, nice minerlity and floral elements. The fruit is muted but underlying, really good acitdity. Day two (36 hours after opening) wow, the fruit is more prominent and everything has really come together. This is going to be killer stuff in a couple of years. My score reflects day two and the potential here. Another tasting note stated: Paul, the winemaker, left me these instructions for trying one of these early: "I recommend a double decant (into decanter back to bottle) and then 24hrs (without the cork) if drinking soon." If you have to drink one of these early definitely heed this advice it takes a little planning ahead but you will be rewarded.

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  • Five hour decant. Dark ruby. Simple nose with a subtle floral chocolate note. Nice acidity, significant but pleasant tannins, dark fruits. Medium+ finish. From all the raves, I was expecting something stunning, and was slightly underwhelmed. Nice wine, I look forward to trying it again down the road.

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  • A ringer for a Northern Rhone! Very dark purple in the glass. Savory nose, dark berries, mint, earth. Taste is also very savory, tart, rich fruit, mint. Finishes with nice acidity. Really like this style of domestic syrah.

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  • One of the better values. Dark and full. I would compare this in quality to 29s CRU.

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  • Nice wine, well done. Competes well against $15 CdR, nice low alcohol. Very clean, dark fruits, blackberry, blueberry, etc. If anything maybe lacking in complexity. Daily drinker and a crowd pleaser.

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  • I am not going to rate this as it was too young and I did not decant. It was delicious and well made. Cool climate profile with ample+ acidity and young but smooth tannins. Tart raspberry, dark fruit and dark chocolate. Medium+ finish. Very good!

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  • Vinturied into a decanter for 8 hours, then poured using the vinturri. Very dark red-purple on the glass. Blueberries, blackberries, and violets on the nose with some more floral component hanging around as well. Light and smooth on the palate; tannins are def there; more black fruits, some tartiness and roasted vanilla also. Nice medium-long finish.

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  • no formal notes, but I really enjoyed. will have to pay more attention to my next bottle.

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  • Nice dark fruits with overtones of blueberry and violet. A little hollow mid palate which always reminds me of drinking out of a metal cup.

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  • Blueberry, blackberry and violet on the nose. Inky purple colored Syrah. Flavors of blueberry, blackberry, flowers and minerals on the long finish. This wine has good balance and will hold up to aging, but is wonderful now. Very impressive. A great value.

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  • I'm just a neophyte so how possibly could I rate this excellent wine when it is so young? I will say that it was better on night 2 and, in fact, much better, more integrated, and thoroughly enjoyable. Comparable: Manny Machado.

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  • Took three or four days open to come together, so I won't open another one for a while. Early on the fruit was rich and ripe, almost cab-like. The fruit faded with time reveling a nice, rich bacon-y palate. Too young.

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  • Triple venturi, then 2 hours of decant. A little disjointed, but came together after a bit. Good plush CA syrah. Dark fruits. Didn't get much acidity or tannins. Will try second half tomorrow.

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  • Had this with two buddies yesterday noon.
    Decanted for approx 2 hours and served around 15-17°C with some bread.
    The robe is quite dark, an intense red with a purple hue towards the rim.
    The nose has lots of flower tones, violets almost reminiscent of a Côte-Rotie!!! There is also some dark fruits.
    The palate is pretty smooth, Black berries with bright acidity and a bit of smoked meat also. Quite long ending on some mineral hints.
    This is really good stuff, Paul Gordon and his team should be proud of this effort which will bonify with a few years of cellaring!
    BTW, thanks Paul and stay in touch!

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  • Paul, the winemaker, left me these instructions for trying one of these early: "I recommend a double decant (into decanter back to bottle) and then 24hrs (without the cork) if drinking soon."

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  • Consistent with 2009 stylistically... lean, higher acid Syrah, with simple, pure fruit aromas and flavors... Transparent, tart, blue and black fruit and mineral, with creamy vanilla nuances intertwined. Medium bodied, little tannin. Would be nice to see how the acid structure develops/softens in 3-5+ years. A good food wine, as the focus seems to be about pure fruit and high-altitude acid structure.

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