Texier “Domaine de Pergaud” 2009 Côtes-du-Rhône St-Julien en St-Alban “Vieille Serine” (Rhône) – Absolutely singing. This isn’t like drinking a really good Rhône blend…which, by the way, it isn’t. It’s syrah. This is like drinking a fireworks extravaganza designed to celebrate the the fact that wines like this exist. It’s sizable without being big, it’s concentrated with plenty of light and space, it’s serious but breaks out in periodically goofy grins, and it’s rather spectacular from start to (a much-extended) finish. (11/11)
Longoria 2009 Syrah “Vino Dulce” (Santa Barbara County) – 375 ml. Corked. (11/11)
Beckmen 2008 Syrah Purisma Mountain “Clone #1” (Santa Ynez Valley) – Big, round raspberries. Other than that, it just sort of sits there. I’d think more of this wine if I didn’t know its price.
Beckmen 2008 Syrah Purisma Mountain Block 6 (Santa Ynez Valley) – Dark, sweaty, and dense. Tarred, but definitely not feathered. The finish is distressingly reminiscent of paper turning to ashes.
Beckmen 2008 Syrah Purisma Mountain (Santa Ynez Valley) – Big shoulders carrying heavy tannin, and bending a bit under the weight. A touch weedy. The peppery finish is pleasant, but everything isn’t in sync here.
Beckmen 2009 “Estate” Syrah (Santa Ynez Valley) – Juice. Very acidic (in a good way), but this is more like syrah-ade than it is a wine. I don’t mind, really, but it’s…eclectic.
Autonom 2008 “Law of Proportions” Syrah (California) – Smells like breakfast: bacon, blackberry syrup, brioche. Pretty good acidity (hmmmm), spice, and berry skin tannin in pulsing waves. An assault rifle of a wine.
Qupé 2007 Syrah Bien Nacido Hillside Estate (Santa Maria Valley) – Ripe. Blackness of both the berried and peppered varieties. Lots of tannin. This is not only made for the long haul, it’s already holding a non-refundable ticket.
Qupé 2008 Syrah Bien Nacido (Santa Maria Valley) – Rich mixed fruit, crushed black and blue berries, soft coal dust, some lingering toast, and a persistent touch of finishing oxidation. I inquire, but the bottle hasn’t been open long; perhaps the damage existed before uncorking. In any case, I don’t think this is fully intact.
Qupé 2007 Syrah Alisos (Santa Barbara County) – Luscious. Blackberry smoke, morel, earth. Gorgeous and very elegant. This is how to do a modern-leaning syrah while not losing one’s soul in the process.