California Syrah

JC Cellars, Santa Barbara County, Fess Parker’s Vineyard, Syrah 2007 Give this wine a bit of air, 10 minutes or so to blow off a bit of reductive character. Then the black fruit will emerge, wrapped in a jacket of leather. In the mouth there are notes of tar and smoke, a meatiness, structured yet with ripe tannins that make this wine chewy yet accessible. Warm up the barbecue and ready the lamb for this wine. Owner and winemaker Jeff Cohn. P&B in Oakland 14.5% purchased for $23.99 at Bottle Barn JC Cellars

Foxen, Santa Ynez Valley, Toasted Rope, Syrah 2008 The nose is intensely fruity, redolent of blueberries and lilacs. In the mouth the fruit gives an encore with a little thick richness, a velvety feel and long acidity – very nice.

84% Syrah and 16% Viognier. P&B in Santa Maria 14.8% $35.99 at Bottle Barn Foxen

About RJ

Ray Johnson is the Executive Director of the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University. He writes about food and wine, his travels and the business of wine. He makes his home in Sonoma County, California.
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