Community Tasting Notes (36) Avg Score: 91.5 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!

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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!

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  • 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.

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  • Just a great wine at a great price. Not my favorite expression of Garys' Vineyard, but a very good one.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • Quite nice. High toned but ripe fruited. I love the meaty notes. Great qpr.

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  • This is not ready yet. Stemmy.

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  • No formal notes. Love this vineyard.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • Popped, left open 2 hours, then consumed over the next 3. Smoky, earthy, black cherry & blood on the nose and palate, finish highlighted by copious amounts of cracked pepper. Extraordinary balance. Lovely wine with the bones to age wonderfully.

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  • Very dark and rich looking plum color...short of thick, a light earthy edge around dark berries, some spice, a tad of pepper and a little alcoholic heat on opening that went away with time. Pleasingly stout grip with wandering dark fruit nuances, still a work in progress.

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  • This to me is the quintessential style of good CA syrah and one of my favorite Novy's to date. Bacon fat, meaty, birny notes, a hint of vanilla, brilliant core of pure fruit, excellent acid and tannin structure. This one is built to last. Not as approachable riight now as the Susan's Hill but should easily outlive it and provide greater complexity. I still have half a bottle left and will report back with day 2 notes. Did a day actually pass? This iwne is built like a tank--it hasn't budged. On the palate you are still greeted with acid and tannins with a dyring grip on the finish. Not picking up as much of the meatiness and bacon fat but it is still at cellar temp and I would expect to see those notes pick up with the temp. Over the next 3 hours the wine peaked at around 68 degrees. The acid and tannins mellowed, the wine became softer on the palate and yes the meatiness returned. Still plenty of acid, never became flabby. Just a wonderful syrah all the way around. A bit more structure and complexity than the Susan's Hill but it was close. My wife preferred the Susan's. Does it get any better than this? Next up....Gary's 04. Yowza.

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  • Starts off smokey and just a bit earthy. The Dark and rich purple fruits quickly dominate the palate though. Finishes with good length and some spice/pepper. This one seems like it would benefit from some short term cellaring.

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  • Showing different than I recall last year. Early impressions? A good amount of pepper on the bouquet, along with some alcohol, or this is what it seems to suggest right now. Some jerky notes, too. Palate? Char, lots of acidity wrapped around some red and black notes but this has some zing. Tight and very angular, pointed at this stage. Will let it sit and retaste more tonight and tomorrow.....setting out overnight, the decant helped this wine unfold. Aromatically, the pepper remains, along with a whiff of vanilla and a sagey/brushy note but the alcohol perception I had is gone. The palate picked up some tar and jerky notes, too--probably two of the main notes I have always liked about Garys' syrah terroir. Join the pepper, tar and jerky together, along with an even mix of red cherry, blueberry and juicy blackberry and you get a real cool complexity. Toast, char and bitter chocolate on the end, with a finishing grip of acidity. Settle this wine in bottle another year to 18 months and I think it will be a total package, with Adam doing a fine job again of interpreting the Garys' fruit.

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  • Dark, dark color...but I was also in a dark room...tart dark berries, and a firm earthy nuance with an animal edge and a touch of smoke on the nose. Firm entry that extended to the mid palate...firm textures and grip that yielded dark fruit nuances that did not seem resolved at all...rather a bit of competition with the varied personalities involved here...which shows a lot of potential with time.

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  • Really opened up after an hour or so in the decanter. Nice variety of flavors - appropriate for a syrah. Not hot at all. Reminiscent of a good Rhone. Nice.

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  • As with FMIII, right off the UPS truck, but decanted for a couple of hours beforehand. Maybe an off barrel/bottle or could be in its awkward stage but couldn't get over the nose which seemed sulfuric. Picked up on some nuances of smoke, pepper, and meat, and palate was nice with sensory explosion up front leading to a lingering berry-like finish. I'll let the others rest.

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  • WS and RP are right on with this one

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  • very interesting, not your tipical wine

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  • Right off the UPS truck. Pop and pour. Opens after an hour or so of air. Shows classic Garys': bit of funk, tar, ink, bbq, pepper and grapefruit. Plush mouthfeel. More to come on Day 2.....................So, 24 hours later, complex nose of herbs/rosemary type of thing, some underbrush, just a cool melange of stuff. Palate wise, at this stage of life, pretty accessible, with moderate grip on the finish so structurally, I would assert this may be a good early drinker of a vintage for Garys'. Tarry, inky smoky bbq with that typical Garys' gamey/meat note, flushed with lots of blackerry.

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