Zins, Syrahs, and Saxums from Spring/Summer 2012

Tasted August 8, 2012 by pgb67 with 505 views

Introduction

These wines were consumed at a handful of parties over the past couple of months ...

Flight 1 - The Zins (4 notes)

Red
2009 Carlisle Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
89 points
Fresh, exhibiting some trademark Carlisle raciness and crowd pleasing tendencies, but didn't ever catch me with exuberant flavors or aromas. Red berries and earth on the profile.
Red
2007 Carlisle Zinfandel Papera Ranch USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
93 points
Pure and focused with wild berry preserves, boysenberry, blueberry pie filling, vanilla, and lavender jumping from the glass. Full bodied, round and smooth with black fruit and white pepper on the flavor profile and a medium finish of dusty tannins and tart accents. When compared with the '09 DCV, it shows the advantages of bottle age and single-vineyard pedigree.
Red
2006 Scherrer Winery Zinfandel Old and Mature Vines Scherrer Vineyard Alexander Valley USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley
91 points
Nose of roasted berries, mature ripe plums, and refined oak. A palate that doesn’t aspire to be flashy, but is a fun, traditional zin with rich red berry fruit and a touch of brambly earth - elegant.
Red
2009 DendorPatton Zinfandel Old Vine Zin USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino County
88 points
Well, the guys at Weygandt said it was a more austere, earthy version of zinfandel, and they were right. But, it’s not my thing – the nose showed black tea, minerals and earth, while the palate had blood and meat components, but was overly acidic for me. Wouldn’t have picked it as a zin, or even as a domestic bottling, but maybe it needs more time.

Flight 2 - The Syrahs (6 notes)

Red
2005 Copain Syrah Hawks Butte Vineyard USA, California, North Coast, Yorkville Highlands
87 points
Dark fruit and smoke on the nose with blackberry liqueur, melted licorice, and a bit of minerality and cola on the palate. Nevertheless, overall it lacked the energy of a younger bottling, had a short finish, and instead of taking on interesting secondary characteristics, it has evolved to highlight a syrupy/candied cherry quality.
Red
2006 Ramey Syrah Shanel Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
88 points
This was a little strange for me because I didn't care much for the upfront flavors of this wine (tart blackberries and tobacco leaf), or the finish on this wine (unctuous fig and cinammon spice), but the multidimensional midpalate was the achievement here with riper blackberries and spice accents. Nevertheless, overall, while well made, this was a tad too sweet and overripe for me.
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Red
2007 Mitolo Shiraz Reiver Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
90 points
Very pleasing on the open, with a classic “big oak” shiraz profile - nose of blueberry, toasty oak and vanilla and a fleshy mouthfeel with attractive berry and coffee flavors and an oak-infused finish. Seemed to lack something on the midpalate (inverted from the Ramey served by its side), but nevertheless had good balance and zippy (for Australia) acidity.
Red
2010 Two Hands Shiraz Gnarly Dudes Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
93 points
Still somewhat primary and has a lot of evolution ahead of it, but I liked it now just fine too. Seductive nose with cassis on the forefront, and notes of cola, vanilla, and oak. Elegant body on the palate with loads of blackberry fruit framed by mocha, cola, and sweet graphite. Persistent length on the balanced finish.
Red
2007 Domaine Auguste Clape Cornas Renaissance France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas
89 points
Ungiving on the nose and palate for the first couple of hours, but with air exposure this became quite fragrant (crushed raspberries). Sappy and dense, with peppery black fruit and ripe tannins. More interesting than the Ramey and Copain, but not as zippy and fun as the Australian shirazes in the lineup.
Red
2009 Domaine Duclaux Côte-Rôtie Maison Rouge France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
87 points
Muted nose with meat and blood accents, and a high-toned palate with forest and sage notes. Not much going on here, but it’s young (although the bones don’t feel particularly sturdy on this).

Flight 3 - The Saxums (2 notes)

Red
2008 Saxum Broken Stones USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
96 points
In the Saxum stable, I love Broken Stones the best - the syrah and mourvedre combo always works for me – and I’m not a big fan of the anise-tinged, high-octane, grenache grape, which this blend subordinates. This was rich & powerful, but well-balanced, and seductive in aroma, flavor, and texture. The nose highlights flowers, creamy vanilla and dark fruit, while the voluptuous, layered palate presented concentrated, round black fruits, with hints of white pepper and leather.
Red
2008 Saxum Heart Stone Vineyard USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
89 points
Muscular but elegant, with aromas of blackberry, white pepper and smoky oak, and a rich mouthfeel focused on flavors of wild berries and subtle cedar and spice notes. But, this was a Saxum that simply threw off too much heat for me, overwhelming the flavors, leaving a raisiny/menthol finish that I didn’t care for. The 40% anise-tinged, high-octane grenache may be a factor in my rating.
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