Color: still a nearly opaque ruby -> deep ruby rim with just the slightest hint of garnet. Still amazingly concentrated. Explosive bouquet of olive tapenade, leather, minerals, tar and garrigue. Massive, delicious palate. Mineral driven black fruit; ouzo, olives, bacon, leather and roasted meat. Rich and fat with that 15.6% alcohol truly NOT a factor. Ridiculously long, long finish that stretches out for miles; like driving on the Alban autobahn. Grand Cru California Syrah for sure and strutting its stuff now and into the pleasantly foreseeable future.
Found this bottle in the bottom of some other CA syrah. Somehow I just passed over it for many years until today. It's quite old, but still very drinkable. I suspect this one won't last too much longer. It needs lots of air time after decanting. There were lots of solids in our bottle, so I suggest that care is needed to avoid corrupting the wine. That said, it was unlike any other California syrah. Powerful, but polite. Fruity, but complex. The nose was pretty strange at first, but it leveled out to be a pleasant blue fruit and spice combination. Tasted of raspberries and blueberries with a bit of spice and wood for good measure. It evolved and got better throughout the evening. I'm very glad I found it.
Quick TN. Looking at my note from the last bottle opened 4 years ago and it seems this wine has not developed at all. The reductive notes faded with some time revealing the smooth, dark fruit. Some grilled meat was evident. For big syrah, Alban bumps right up against my limit but doesn't cross over.
Deep lusty nose of wood smoke, pepper licorice and tar. Followed by a rather deep, rich extracted palate that shows some acidity but is dominated by really sweet viscous fruit. The tannins are in the background, fruit and jam take center stage. Tiring to drink, and not much energy on the palate, but well made if you like this style of Syrah.
Dark red-purple color. Nose of dried fruits (raisin, prune, cherry), road tar, pine spirits. Medium-low tannin, high acidity. Awkwardly balanced in the mouth, with screechy-high acids and prune-y extract galore, this bottle (tasted blind) was near repugnant for three of our guests at dinner. Bad bottle or the mark of a winemaker with an entirely different targeting system than we're accustomed to ? Who knows, but the diner who brought the bottle liked it plenty, so gave it a C-.
Delicious. Drank with Nick A at Bistecca. Open all day, decanted one hour. Drinking perfectly, so nice and rich & not as powerful when allowed to rest for the day. Complex, sweet, juicy, rich, managed the fatty charred steak really well, lingers nicely.
Deep deep purple, 15.6% alcohol, super-extracted brute of a syrah...deep and complex fruits, blackberry boysenberry and even a bit of chocolate in the finish...notes from 1 year ago...still dense and viscous; this may need another 5 years to bloom, for now, this a a bruiser
Decanted 30 minutes. Rebottled and left to breathe for 2 hours. Nice nose of black fruits with a little game and smoke. Smooth and full bodied with blackerry and blueberry on the palate. Some notes of smoked meat and chocolate. Finish was quite long with integrated tannins. Despite the 15.6% alcohol this did not show any heat at all. The acohol is nicely contained by the abundant fruit. Continued to improve over several hours and i wish i had decanted it for a couple of hours. Should hold up well for several more years. This is an extrememly good Cali Syrah although not the best QPR.
Powerful nose of meat, black olives and some pepper. On the palate, the wine seemed "thick", almost viscous. Moderate to high acidity provided some balance . . . low to moderate tannins. Not sure how much this has changed over the past 9 years but it has that "reduced" and manipulated feel to it. Definitely a CA syrah -- the aged Cote Rotie's I've tried have been a bit more nuanced and balanced. A unique wine but no longer my style.
Deep deep purple, 15.6% alcohol so this is a super-extracted brute of a syrah...deep and complex fruits, blackberry boysenberry and even a bit of chocolate in the finish...after 10 years, this has started to achieve some balance, no rush on this one at all
This was a beauty. Not as "syrah like" as other Alban Revas I have had. Great flavor profile that mixed forest moss, blood sausage, rare meat and dark cherry and black berry. Would have guessed a litlle hearty pinot as well as it had a great fleshy finish. Great wine.
Same Story, Repeated Xmas 2008 tasting. Decanted for 2 hours, still could have used more time. Red meat, pepper nose; rich thick texture, huge wine, still plenty left to go on the evolution. I have one more of these left!
Incredible nose with great balance between dark fruits, earthy notes, and a touch of a floral component. Full bodied with nary a touch of heat detected. No sweetness or port-like charcteristics at all. Smooth tannins, long and satisfying finish. Great bottle of wine.
WWAG (Baldy's Cave): P&P - Dark, alch & black fruit on the nose. Big in the mouth, deep, lingers, this will be nice.
Later served chilled and blind - Black center, nose was very interesting, complex but a brute, spice pepper, tar, big black fruit monster. young & tight, huge mouth feel, gives Tim "Wine Nipples", whatever that is. . . This was nice once chilled a bit and allowed to be brought to temp. Kept evolving and with more time leaned to a chocolate feel. The group of self acclaimed wine Aficionados’ all claimed it was a top notch French, big Props to JA for creating something so close to the edge with grace of a hippo.
Wineflock - Alban Intro/Retro (Home): Group #3, My #2 - Deep opaque purple color. Clean bright big black fruit with tar and licorice notes. Big black tarry fruit on a firm tannic frame. Long dustry finish.
Ruby and magenta upon opening. Darkened considerably by the end of the night. Hickory smoke and roast beef initially on the nose. Ripe raspberry and cedar. Perfumed, berries and white flowers -- no trace of alcohol (15.6%). Touches of bay leaf and matchstick which add complexity. Crushed rock and licorice. Blueberry.
Wonderful wine, full bodied syrah that has an excellent structure to it. Started off a bit closed then opened up after an hour. Tannins were nice and smooth, but still present to give it a nice bite at the finish. This wine still has a bit to go so kudos to those who still have bottles left.
First Alban was on release of this wine and totally enamoured with this pronounced flavor of beef blood...secondary flavors in this wine on release were awesome. Now probably 8 years later either I have changed, this wine has changed or both. Heavy, sweet one dimensional highly extracted fruit with no secondary flavors. Do these wines have to be drank early? ALso had 01 Loraine and 01 Pandora, first time, and was equally disappointed. Maybe Alban and I are just not meant to be.
Santa Barbara Dreaming: Okay, I now know what the descriptor "tastes like syrup, I could put this on pancakes" means. Clearly a big time syrah, and clearly a quality bottle, but I couldn't appreciate this due to its youth and sweetness. I defer proper notes for a decade at least.
Decanted for an hour + and drinking very well. Tar, burnt rubber and euculyptus on the nose, but the reductive notes were not overpowering. On the palate, silky smooth, dark fruited syrah as only Alban can do it.
NSMFOW March (The Grapevine, Salem, MA): Opaque purple. Nose of prunes, dark fruits. Fruit forward palate of same with some licorice and tar and a little earth. Soft tannins. Guessed CA syrah. I liked this wine very much.
nose: wow, this is a big time nose filled with black currant, raspberry, dark cherry, and a bit of forrest notes and notes of black licorice. Just really fills up the nostrils in a very balanced way
taste: really big and deep, but yet very balanced. Lots of Black licorice, black currant, raspberry, and dark cherry just glide on your palate.
overall: John Alban really is an american syrah master. This is just top notch stuff. amazing pure finish and complex and layered flavors on both the nose and palate. Very harmonious blance and weight that just makes you happy that wine like this is made. I think this still has room to grow and would love to have this again in a few years
Dinner with friends (Rick Halterman's House, Boulder, CO): This is some stunning stuff that blends amazing concentration and power with a balanced, elegant character, all without a trace of heat. The nose shows deep, rich dark fruit aromas of cassis, blackberry and subtle blueberry notes with loamy earth, licorice and integrated wood components showing up in the background. A seriously big wine that is smooth, perfectly balanced and borderline elegant. Full bodied with a lush, viscous and glass staining texture, killer precision and awesome depth. Despite the size, this had a light mouth feel that made this a joy to drink and carried into a long long finish.
Dark Ruby Color. I tasted my first glass of this without any decanting and thought it was off a bit - definitely closed down - it began to open up after a few hours in the glass. On day two the wine was strutting its stuff with a meaty, smoky nose, and nice layered mocha, blackberry, pepper and clove. Still tannic with a firm structure.
Let decant for about an hour. Gorgeous aromas of blueberry, smoke, bacon fat, and a little bit of graphite, which was unexpected. Full and rich on the palate, with mostly blue and black fruit and ending with gripping tannins. Suggests tremendous ageability. Wish I had another bottle left!
This is what a syrah should be. incredibly deep dark fruits, smokey coffee, with a touch of herbs. waves of flavor- dark fruits giving way to minerality. some deep espresso, with a rebound of fruits. a finish that goes on and on. I am only sorry this was my last one. (BTW this was the vintage that won a vertical tasting of 99-03.
Drank half a full bottle with a char-grilled ribeye. An exotic nose of blueberries, vanilla, briar, pain grille and a hint of honeysuckle. Still very youthful on the palate, with dense black fruit and considerable concentration. With more air and drinking the tannins emerge, showing that this has many, many years to go.
Absolutely phenomenal. My WOTY so far. Nose bursts from the glass with red and black fruits. On the palate, enormoursly endowed, highly concentrated flavors of blackberry jam and red fruit, with a minerally backbone. Incredibly balanced and yet highly complex. I'm a huge syrah fan, and I can't say i've ever had a better one (01 Shirvington is the only I can recall as its equal). Any chance I can find any more???
New World Syrah Showdown (Chicago IL): Blind tasting. While the older vintages of Alban Reva were all incredibly similar, this seemed less reductive and less sulfured. Big fruit with some cocoa and dark roast coffee. Big and brash plum and blackberry with a better level of perceived acidity than the older vintages. Still a bit hot, but not ultra-ripe.
This wine had a nose that was gorgeous. Full of distinct meaty,aromas with deep fruit and hints of flowers and chocolate. In the mouth, this was a bit restrained, yet still amazing. Very elegant. Great wine.
This fabulous wine has everything starting with a great nose, beautiful mouthfeel, ending with a 30 second finish. Even better than when it was released this syrah is awesome. Great now but it should last for at least 10 more years.
An experiment to see how this may age. Tried at a recent London offline with 6 hours of decanting, this was felt by some to be just too big and ripe - neither of which I agreed. So I tried a recent bottle over three days. The first day it had a beautiful nose of incense, violets, vanilla and blackberries. The wine is big and dense, but packed with ripe young fruit, and not at all overdone. Day two the wine had lost much of its nose, but the fruit character had transmuted into a really rich and elegant syrah - again, well controlled, not hot but ripe. By the third day, this was very elegant, the nose showing far more violets and the palate was beautiful. Not a proxy for age, but I reckon this is going to be a stunner in 4 years time. Good thing I still have ten left!
Let me just say - this wine is outrageous, nose, palate, structure, every aspect - much like the Patriots. The nose was smokin' (literally) out of the chute, rediculous purity of Syrah. Gorgeous nose...structured, with a still very giving personality. Smoky, meaty, rich with an unusual amount of acidity in a wine of this extract. I wonder how long this will last. A thrill ride of a wine. One more bottle in the cellar - will surely wait a few years to try again. Lovely wine, I want to try the last bottle RIGHT NOW!
Inky purple-black with clear edges; black fruit, saline and blood/meat with an increasing leather note over the course of several hours; full bodied at 15.6% with a rich sweet dark fruit and cherry palate; medium long finish; overall very good; tasted along side 01 Delille Doyenne...different animals but equally interesting
11/10/03 at home on Monday. Color as deep as it gets, a real beauty. Rich, deep nose. Freshly ground coffee and cocoa much in evidence. This is a real beauty on the palate--sleek, balanced, polished, but stuffed with rich fruit. The tannins are there, but they are sweet. Helluva wine. 5-12-18-8-93/100. H says 90-91