My third and final bottle, and pretty clearly the best. Here the fruit was much more pure and defined, not to mention really tasty. Otherwise, this was a classic Paso Syrah from a warm year. Lots of black olive, black and blue fruits, iodine and a slightly heavy texture and palate weight. Should hold for a few years.
14.9% alcohol. Full bodied, penetrating, juicy, a bit rugged and gripping on the back end, and offering up an aromatic and flavor profile of blackberry, black raspberry, wood smoke/char, black pepper, dark chocolate, and lavender. This wine improved appreciably with significant/extended aeration (i.e. 4+ hours); Would recommend a vigorous decant.
- Crimsom color with medium forming legs and aromas of blackberry, raspberry, cherry and black pepper. It's somewhat balanced and has flavours of blackberry and cherry with a full body. Narrow texture - This is finally starting to come around but still a bit uninteresting and flat.
Drank over two nights. Not my favorite vintage or these or maybe just in a weird place...fruit was there but was lacking some of the secondary characteristics I was hoping for. Still very well made wine, easy to drink.
Very fruity with dark berries and some tannins when first opened. After decanting for two hours, secondary flavors developed and tannins softened up. However, on the palate, I feel the flavors were never totally in balance. Nose is light and the finish wasn't very noticeable. ( I am holding a pretty high standard here)
Decanted for 45 minutes. Very typical Copain JB, that is a tremendous push of dark fruits, camphor, blue flowers, and smoke that make an immediate and firm palate impression. Unlike my last bottle though in 2008, the fruit in the mid palate section seems to be in a bit of a rambunctious, adolescent phase, peeking out on some sips, hiding around the corner on the next. All the material seems present for a quality experience, as was this bottle, but I do suspect maybe a couple more years would level things out a tad, and deliver a more mature, complete wine. Very nice.
14.9% alcohol. Consumed over the course of two nights. On night one this was rather backward and tightly coiled with muted aromatics and the wine's structure and oak predominating on the palate. Much improved on night two with greater expressiveness and integration. Full bodied with appreciable structure, grip, density, and power with aromas and flavors of blackberry, black licorice, chocolate, road tar, and char/wood smoke. Very good, but preferred an '06 Hawks Butte I had a few weeks ago to this bottling.
decanted for 3 hours. This is somewhat closed right now. While still showing that funky Copain creosote dark fruit mix, the fruits are a little bit muted. Enjoyable but I'll wait a couple of years before the next bottle.
Dark inky purple; dark black berries, juicy red raspberry as well, dried herbs, black licorice with a touch of burnt black cherry pie crust; rich, silky entry, excellent balance, medium + tannins, quite juicy but with good structure, medium + acidity, good juicy berry notes in the finish with a little heat. Very nicely structured and classy.
Rather boring wine - chocolate on the nose, blue fruit and spice on the palate with nice structure. Hollow mid-palate. Not sure if aging will improve this - my guess is it won't. In a word - forgettable.
At the Club with friends. PnP and it took about 30 minutes to fully open. Jammy but with definition and a perfect match with the hot food from the buffet tables and above all the meat dishes. Plenty of life left in this wine.
Chablis Tasting (Mykha's, Glen Ellyn, Illinois): Opened by Berno. This was the 6th Copain Syrah I've had (the 1st James Berry) and almost always a solid 90+ scorer. Not decanted. Deep purple color. Rich and thick texture. Full bodied with solid tannins. Notes of currant and black cherry. 93 points.
N: plums, alcohol, spice and that cloying overripe red fruit syrah has sometimes, as well as some reduction. P: Plush texture, very fruity and primary on the attack. Good length. Some heat on the finish. This is not my style of wine...Unbalanced. 15% abv.
Classic Copain "Cali meets the Rhone" -- big grapes vs Wells' deft hand, definitely meets in the middle. Delicious but still very young, decant for a while if you are going to consume this in the next 6 months.
Listed alcohol 14.9%. A number of note writers have made mention of heat, some more prominent than others. In my view, there is some but it's not all that bothersome to me. Some flowers and fruit bowl-like notes in the aromatic. Bit chalky, some game, blue and black fruit and soil. There is a decent amount of intensity here, tar and some mocha and astrignence in the finish. Even some acid lying in there, blue fruited in tone. I opened this last night at dinner FWIW, so about 18 hours of slow ox time. From that, I'd guess this wine can do several days slow ox or last a few more years. I actually like this bottle better than the last one I drank in 2010. Joe (glaze3), you and I are seeing this wine pretty much the same way and I wrote my note before I read yours.
Opened for 5 hours but not decanted. Smokey, dark fruited nose that becomes more floral with air. Dense blue/black tarry fruit that still has a bit of a chalky feel to it. Nice acid and still fairly tannic, picks up a bit of a "Copain" floral note and has some heat that's probably here to stay, but nothing unreasonable for Central coast fruit. Overall a pretty nice James Berry that avoids become cloying or sweet, but will hold my last bottle for a few more years.
EWG goes blind for Syrah (Elements Kitchen, Pasadena,Ca): Served blind. Darkly fruited with notes of tar. Mostly reserved and there was a touch of heat. The palate is pretty displaying nice balance including good acid and tannin. A touch of heat is the only reservation but I liked this one.
lazy with my alcohol level recording, but this has to be higher than the others? part of a vertical tasting 04-07. decanted over a couple of hours. this is just plain awful. an over extracted mess. undrinkable.
Tons of upside this wine is still a baby. Don't touch another bottle for at least 2-3 years maybe more. Starts with an incredible nose which I loved. Tastes like a wine that was just released rather than a wine that was released 3 years ago. To be honest I still like what Justin does with his own James Berry fruit this wine is certainly no slouch.
Deep violet. Captivating nose of violets, berries, and black fruits. Rich, well-structured, good dark fruit. Still a slight tannic edge, but not out of balance. Not terribly complex at this stage, but no hurry to drink.
This is big, round, lush and comfortable like an old leather chair. But there's not much structure and virtually no acidity. Lots of black fruit, olive and still some oak. I'm not sure what happens to this in 5 to 10 years so if you like this style, drink it now.
15 months since my last bottle. Opened last night, poured a big glass, enjoyed over about 90 mins. Starts off slowly but as the room temp (call it 65 dgrees) warms the wine, it fleshes out. Last night my ending impression was "fruit bowl' in tone. Tonight, similar kind of approach, enjoyed with a homemade pea soup and garden salad from the yard. Still sense the floral aromatic as the last bottle, less dominant this time. My closing impressions are these--this is a dark wine, with deep flavors that are mainly blue with some black, and a full bodied weight. This is not a shy wine. It carries a deep core of flavor, a soily note but it squarely in the CA mode. Fruit driven, expressive and big shouldered. I can still see my comment from 2009 having some validity, to let it age but I would say this wine has softened quite a bit since last year. Drink window would be now (to enjoy the depth and span of the wine) or wait through 2012. It can hold a bit longer but I'll finish my last one in late 2011.
Rich, ripe, totally Paso Robles. The fruit is leaning torward dark fruits like bosenberry and current. Firm but supple tannins are noted. The structure is classic from winemaker Wells Guthrie. I really like this wine.....
what a great nose of boysenberry with hints of the structure and wood to follow. On the palate the dark and blue fruits are up front, followed by a little gamey funk with plenty of wood showing, as I believe this is still very young and primary and only going to get better in the coming years.
14.9% alcohol. A youngster but it's showing beautifully because it is so well-made. Inky purple color. Gorgeous nose of blue fruit, meat, spice, and minerals. In the mouth, it could be brutish because it has loads of structure, but the balance and is impeccable. It's not an elegant wine, but there is something almost delicate in how it maintains balance on such structure, like a dancing bear. Loads of fruit in the mouth, with forceful complexity. Strong acidity and a long finish, which has beautifully done tannins. Drinking well but definitely better with age. A-
nice funk wafting from the decanter with black and blue berries. After about 90 minutes in decanter, started nice and round, nice balance, a little tight tannins with enough acid to keep it very clean and fresh. The underlying ripe boysenberry with some gamey notes really made this special for me. got bigger as the night went on. Showed very young.. gotta keep my hands off these for 3-4 more years.
Dark ruby red. Aromas of red, blue fruit and smoke. Comes to life on the palate with rasberry, blueberries and black cherry. Great mouthfeel. Rich, pure and well balanced. Aftertaste lingers for 40+ seconds. Extremely satisfying. Is Justin Smith's James Berry Vineyard one of the world's finest for Rhone varietals? I vote yes!
Big ripe nose of dark fruits, asphalt, and smoke. Going in the nose had me thinking that this was going to be your typical James Berry, but it is not! Boysenberries and raspberries dominate on entry with asphalt and a charred wood. There is a huge amount of minerality as this finishes that really separates it from others expressions of this vineyard. Still quite tannic at this time ( starting kind of dusty but after being open for 5 hours really clamp down and become more aggressive. It is enjoyable now with about an hour of air, but did really shut down at about 5 hours, so I will not open another for at least a year.
Drank with Emily at Corduroy for Christmas dinner. Decanted and drank over 2 hours. Beautiful thick ruby core. Began with intense dark fruit and I was pleasantly surprised by the tinge of acid. The wine seemed to gain weight as it evolved to show rich spicy and roasted elements, also coffee and cocoa. Long finish. Paired wonderfully with my lamb loin.
Dark ruby color. Black cherry jello. Tastes of raspberry, cherry, licorice and kirsch. Charred oak that has integrated reasonably well. Well balanced. Rich powerful finish. Firm tannins. Quite young. 14.9% alcohol.
Drank over two days. The fist day I picked up sweet blue fruit, a hint of smoked meat, strained yoghurt. The wine was big but with a nice spine of acidity and a tinge of minerality on the finish. I found it a little unintersting on day1. On Day 2 however, there were some nice characteristics soming through, the fruit was obvioulsy mor in the background and the mineral streak was cranked up. I like where this is heading, but definitely needs a couple more years.
Drank next to the 2004 Copain James Berry, an intentional comparison, as I opened the 2004 to go with it, along with previously drinking the 2005 about a week ago. Has more white flower aromatics versus the 2004, along with steely element, perhaps some heat. A juicy and broad palate, still young but as opposed to the 2004, pretty well packed and needs more time in the bottle. Forward and expressive.
Pop and pour. Slight funk blows off with a quick swirl, revealing a high velocity attack of dried berries, black olives and charred beef. Very warm initially, but with air, the alcohol trades its volatility for glycerol weight and sweet fruit. Ultimately unfurls huge spice, citrus and floral aromatics. The finish is persistent, yet ethereal. It almost seems to evaporate on the tongue leaving behind fine tannin, and a minerally residual taste of crushed pencil lead. Plenty of energy in here to prop up its weight. Seems to hit a sweet spot with about 2hrs of air. Suggest a commensurate decant, or enjoy it’s full evolution in the glass if you’ve got a bottle to spend some time with.
Had next to the Thompson over 3 days. Aromatically this was a bit more Aussie like. Enjoyable. Mixture of mint, white pepper and a dusty element. Didn’t change much over the 3 days. This wine showed more fruit and less tannin, or at least the fruit was hiding the tannin. I really went back and forth on this wine. At times I found it uninteresting … and then later I found it very intriguing. In the end this was more up and down than the Thompson but equally as pleasurable.
Not quite outstanding, but excellent indeed. Not too extracted or oaked, which led to some tightly wound tannins. There was some nice mineral action going on with smoky dark fruit and spice. I think another 5+ years in the cellar will do wonders for it. @ $35, I'm not in a hurry to buy any more.
Nose starts out with notes of violets and vanilla. After a while it takes on some deeper, more complex aromas--meaty and maybe some slightly green notes. Palate has lots of jazzy acidity and a hint of chocolate. Very nice now and likely to improve.
Definitely needs a few years. Seems only to give up fruit after 2 and a half hours and then it shows only the deep black fruit. I get lots of smoke/chimney aromas as well that seem to integrate over time open in bottle (no decanter used). I thouroughly enjoyed my experience with this wine but know (as I have with all Copain Wine) this is going to be fantastic in several years. Very tightly wound tannins seam to dissolve across the tougue and leave a 40second finish of yummy nummy goodness...93 points
Still early on this but wanted to try it. Nose is incredible, on the palate this is still a bit all over the map but day 2 it was coming together nicely....had alongside an 06 LC Cherry Red. Different varietals but same year/same location (Westside Paso) and this wine really came across darker with more depth and less sweetness than the zin based LC (though I love Matt's wines for other reasons). It was interesting to taste side by side. This wine on day 2 was finishing with a creamy blueberry finish that was awesome. The front/middle of the wine had so much going on I don't have the vocab to describe but it was pure and intense. For the life of me I cannot understand why quality CA Syrah does not have a bigger market...selfishly I'm happy it's not becoming more expensive so I'll keep my mouth shut.
With Cocq au Riesling at Paul Rankin's (also brought a bottle McPrice Meyers). This indeed like the other notes say. This will be good but needs bottle age. It is a bit wild and disjointed but has everything, fruit, balance and life. Had the same feeling on a Pinot from Copain last week. Excellent wine for 2012 and beyond.
Decanted. This one needs a couple of years in the bottle but Wells has done a fine job with dark fruits and minerals that last a very long time. I do not notice the high alcohol because of the great balance. Very nice. I am glad I bought a few of these.
Admittedly a bit disappointed BUT I think it's just very shut down for now, will need at least a few years to sing; tight, tight fruit with too much oak showing through. I popped and poured and it admittedly opened a bit more by glass number two but I don't plan to open my other bottles any time soon
A bit closed really on the nose. Dark fruit with a good amount of floral characteristics. Nicely balanced palate, I don't think this is as hot as others have said, dark cherry, blackberry and mocha... a bit high on the oak quite frankly. I think this needs some serious time.
Decanted three hours. Initially a bit warm on the nose, but this was not to last long as exotic shots of incense, blackberry pie and clove really added contemplation and intrigue. One of the bigger Copains I have ever had, which should be no surprise when seeing the source, but I was still amazed at how damn fresh this tasted, with the fruit gaining in clarity and definition with every sip. In fact, by the last glass I was tempted to call it “zesty”. Time will be most fortunate to those who can be patient with this one, and if not, decant the hell out of it!
Popped and poured. What a whole cluster f*ck! That's the first thing that went through my mind when I plunged my nose into the glass. If President Bush ever decides to sign a bill allowing "stem" cell research--they should look no further than the 06 Copain James Berry. The only thing at the outset that distracted me from how much I liked the nose (hints of sage and the usual Copain underbrush as well) was the color. The Deep blue and purple with bright magenta edges was a mesmerizing combination. I decided to let the wine sit in the glass for a half hour (much tougher to do than even differential equations) before finally tasting. When my lips hit the glass, I was immediately bombarded with everything that a wine can possess--tannin, alcohol, acid, fruit, and oak. The alcohol nosed its way in first, followed by chewy blue and black fruits surrounded by an acidic punch, oak, and an undercurrent of earthiness and smoke. On the finish, the tannins put an all out kung fu grip on your tongue and wouldn't relent for ay least 30 seconds. At this point, I decided to give the wine some more time to flesh itself out and let me tell you--flesh itself out it did! The heat and tannins with the Kung Fu grip were now a thing of the past and what was left had now transformed into a comfort wine. A richness and freshness had developed with plush blue and black fruits leaving your mouth coated in velvet. I felt like George Costanza in that Seinfeld episode where his girlfriend didn't care what he looked like so he decided to do what no self respecting mand would--drape himself in velvet. That was me at this point, a 36 year old George Costanza decked out in a velvet track suit. Life couldn't get any better! 93pts.
50% whole cluster, 33% new oak and 14.9% alcohol, perhaps the biggest wine alcohol-wise of the 2006s, save the Thompson (I believe). My notes have a big star next to the wine, as well. Structure and plush fruit. Pure blue and black fruit. Shows some early silkiness and purity, which then is replaced by a cloak of stems and mocha wood that covers on the back end through the finish. Looks to be a killer interpretation of James Berry by Wells again.