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CALIFORNIA SYRAHS
A Blind-Tasting Comparison

July 5, 2006

Notes by
Gerald Weisl,
wine merchant

 

During the 1990 vintage, California's vintners crushed less than 600 tons of Syrah grapes.   State statistics show that in 2004, more than 101,000 tons of Syrah were processed by California vintners.   Consumers are confronted with all sorts of new labels bearing the name Syrah, with many premium bottlings costing $30 to $60 a bottle.

We assembled a field of current offerings from the 2003 and 2004 vintages.  The wines came from eight different appellations and ranged in price from $25 to an astounding $80 per bottle.  For those who have to pay for a bottle of Syrah, happily one of the least costly wines won the tasting, acing out the $80 bottle by a single point.


Four of the eight wines garnered a first place vote (or more) and four of them also received at least one last place vote.

Tasters seemed to have differing views on what constitutes a good "Syrah," with many people turning up their noses at the one wine which resembled, for better or worse, Syrahs from prestigious Northern Rhne appellations.

Here's what we found:

The Wines Gerald's Rank Ellen's Rank Bob's Rank GROUP RANK Total Points 1sts/2nds/
Lasts
AMBULLNEO VINEYARDS
2004 Santa Maria Valley
85% Bien Nacido 15% Rimrock
Howling
$80
4 2 4 2 27 3/1/0
ANDREW MURRAY
2003 Santa Ynez Valley
Estate Grown
$25
5 6 6 6 49 0/0/0
NEYERS
2003 Napa Valley
Cuve dHonneur
$50
1 8 1 7 51 2/1/5
RIDGE VINEYARDS
2003 Dry Creek Valley
Lytton West
$34.99
3 4 7 4 35 2/1/1
ROSENBLUM CELLARS
2004 Solano County
England-Shaw Vineyard
$32
6 5 8 5 46 0/0/1
TABLAS CREEK VINEYARD
2003 Paso Robles
$35
8 7 5 8 56 0/0/2
TAZ
2004
Santa Maria Valley
Goat Rock
$27
2 1 2 1 26 2/4/0
VIE
2004 Carneros Sonoma
Las Madres Vineyard
$29
7 3 3 3 34 0/2/0

8th Place:  TABLAS CREEK 2003 Paso Robles SYRAH
The Perrin family which owns the famous Chteauneuf-du-Pape estate, Chteau de Beaucastel, has a collaborative project with American importer, Robert Haas.
The winery web site describes this wine as "The 2003 Syrah is a vibrant expression of the Syrah grape. A nose of pepper, black raspberry and wood smoke is followed by intense ripe flavors of blackberry and spice, fine tannins and gentle oak, and a long, elegant finish."
Our panel found a much different wine in our bottle, citing a lack of fruit and an abundance of tannin.  One critic described this as being "reminiscent of dirty linen, with salty notes."  Another person felt it "lacks fruit and it's bitter."  Someone else found it shows "overly insistent tannins."  A final critic detected "sweet notes and it's aggressive with big tannins."
I missed the pepper, black raspberry and wood smoke which the winery public relations material claims to be associated with this wine.  For me, this was simply a coarse, angular red wine of no particular varietal definition.  It seems acidified and, as a result (perhaps), a bit 'wiry' on the palate.  It's a simple, standard quality "red table wine."  Its flaw is simply the wine's anonymity in the glass.  Disappointing coming from a producer with Beaucastel's credentials.  No stars on my three star scale, signifying an ordinary wine at best.

 

7th Place:  NEYERS 2003 Napa Valley "Cuve d'Honneur" SYRAH
This was a controversial wine, with two old-timers, Bob Gorman and myself, ranking it first and a bunch of other tasters nailing it as their last place selection.
"What is this?" cried out one critic.  Another felt this wine was "atypical, showing the stink of green peppers and rotting vegetables."  A third critic noted "Ultra-ripe grapes with a peculiar herbaceousness.  Is this defective?" the inquired of other tasters.  One person found this to have "burnt oak on the nose and palate.  It's way over-charred."  But Bob Gorman encountered "bright, dusty notes with herbs, a touch of menthol and plenty of Syrah fruit.  It's complex.  Nice finish.  This is very fine."
On first pass through I wasn't sure what to make of this wine, but as it evolved in the glass, the wine easily emerged as the one wine which resembles Syrahs from France's Rhne Valley.  I understand why many tasters found the wine to be off-putting, since the vegetal, green olive elements are not to everyone's taste.  For me, though, this was easily the most Syrah-like wine of the tasting and with the vegetal direction of this wine, certainly not a wine for everyone.  Herbal, olive-like and showing a hint of cooked mushrooms on the nose, the wine has lots of bacony notes on the palate.  Plenty of varietal character (too much, apparently, for most tasters), the hickory elements are intriguing to me.  I found this to be a two star wine, even though most people will tell you this is too quirky to be of much interest.  Too bad.

6th Place:  ANDREW MURRAY 2003 Estate Bottled SYRAH
"Wine E as in 'e-sparagus!" said one wag.  Someone else found "green, vegetal tones here, with pepper, tarragon and some blueberry notes. It could almost be a Central Coast Pinot Noir, too."  Another person described this as "jammy and dull.  It's oaked up to a fare-thee-well."  Someone else detected "floral aromas."
This is about the best-made wine I've tasted from Andrew Murray.  The nose is quiet and shy to start and finally reveals a hint of Syrah after about a half an hour.  There's a hint of olive tones and a nicely herbal element on the nose.  This seemed flat and dull on the palate.  I did not find it to be particularly varietal in terms of its taste.  Standard quality.

 

5th Place:  ROSENBLUM 2004 Solano County "England Shaw" SYRAH
Here are the winemaker's comments from Rosenblum's web site regarding this vintage of this wine: "Outrageous best describes this wine that comes across as a hybrid of California/Australia/French Syrah. In other words, this wine embodies the best of all worlds. Intense fruit that is wrapped in a satin blanket of lavender, smoked bacon, peppery spice, dark chocolate and roasted herbs. This is what Syrah is about."
"Over-ripe fruit and it's Port-like and syrupy." said one critic.  Another detected "spicy tarragon notes with sour orange and tamarind.  It's dessert wine-sweet.  Too sweet."  Another critic found "cherry, cherry and cherry."  Someone else described this as "low in acidity which accelerates the impression of sweetness."
I found notes of sweet wood on the nose to start, with dark berry fruit and some cedar and vanillin.  I did not find any Syrah character here, though.  If you told me it's a Cabernet, fine.  If this is supposedly Merlot, okay.  Tell me it's a Zinfandel, sure.  As for its flavor---I immediately got out my sugar testing kit when I tasted this and, sure enough, it's got a measurable amount of residual sugar.  It's a ripe, flat, sweet red sporting 16% alcohol (according to the label).  This is too sweet for most foods and not sweet enough for dessert.  It seems as though Rosenblum is attempting to go after the consumer of mass-market wines such as Australia's "Yellow Tail."  This might actually strike the drinker of Yellow Tail as being completely dry!  No stars on my score sheet.

4th Place:  RIDGE 2003 "Lytton West" SYRAH
One taster described this as "badly made, very short on the palate and it has too much alcohol."  Someone else was less enthusiastic, describing it as redolent of "rotting vegetables and having a sulphury note."  Another critic felt this may have been "aged in dirty cooperage."  Someone else mentioned it being "spirity, with plum eau de vie notes, but it's rather hollow." Another taster's perspective was that this is "very extracted and astringent, yet it's a bit like a dessert wine and in the manner of Port."
My impression of Ridge Syrah was quite different.  I found nice, berryish aromas and fairly ripe fruit, but not excessively so.  It's fruity on the nose.  Medium-full on the palate, this is a deep, big red with some power and intensity.  It's moderately tannic and fairly fruity, striking a decent balance.  The flavors show a dusty, berryish note.  I gave this one-and-a-half stars on my three star scale.

3rd Place:  VIE 2004 Carneros - Sonoma "Las Madres Vineyard" SYRAH
One taster found this to be "Charming and straight-forward.  It's not lengthy, but it's a nice wine."  Another critic knocked it for being "very bitter and quite astringent.  It's a bit lighter than the other wines, with some white pepper notes and herbs.  It's very chalky, though."
I found some pleasantly woodsy notes on the nose, with a bit of berry-like fruit.  It's a nice little red, but I did not find the aromas to be particularly Syrah-like. I wondered whether it was totally dry and found flavors of dark fruits, cocoa and a fair bit of tannin here.  It's a tannic, tough red wine with some heat on the palate.  It was not my idea of Syrah and I gave it no stars.

2nd Place:  AMBULLNEO 2004 "Howling" SYRAH
This wine was generally well-liked by all but one taster, who ranked this 7th.  One critic described it as "Mellow, balanced and it has a nice, long finish."  Another taster found this to be "More in a French style..."  Someone else found "ripe, red fruits with notes of cayenne pepper on the nose and piquillo pepper flavors."  One panel member felt this was "closed on the aromas but it opened to show metallic notes.  It's quite extracted and dull."  Someone else echoed the sentiment about dullness.
I found an aroma which, curiously, reminded me of watermelon on the nose here.  It shows a hint of wood and a note of paper, without being musty.  I did not find this to display much Syrah character on the nose, but it's a bit more expressive on the palate.  It's a tannic red, with mouth-drying astringency.  One star.
I suspect the name "howling" is related to the noise some consumer makes when paying the $80 tab for a single bottle of this wine.


 

1st Place: TAZ 2004 Santa Maria Valley "Goat Rock" SYRAH
"It's so flat in terms of acidity, this wine is stinky on the nose with tarry notes, along with gardenias and black cherries.  It's soft and flabby, yet rather bitter on the palate." said one critic.  Someone else found "the nose to be reminiscent of mocha, with spicy, blackberry notes and toasty oak.  There's a matchstick element, too.  Nice balance and nice potential and depth."  Another person mentioned finding "SO2, but this did not seem to dissipate over the course of the tasting."  Someone else found "H2S or SO2 and Brettanomyces.  All these made for a big 'impression' and a complex wine."
My reading of this was of a coffeeish wine with lots of oak and woodsy tones.  It's got more cellar "styling" than anything else, having a modest amount of varietal character.  There's a bit of a smoky, hickory quality here, with the wood dominating the nose.  It's got dark fruit on the palate and mild tannins.  I think it's a reasonably good example of California Syrah...not a bottle you'd mistake for a French Rhne, but a good red wine.  One-and-a-half stars.  Good value given what some of things seem to sell for.

 

Please note: The wines tasted are not always wines we have (or have had) in the shop.
Many bottles are merely for our enological exploration.
Price quoted are current at the time of the tasting, but may be different when you're reading this.


WE HAVE NOT ORGANIZED A TASTING IN A WHILE...
BUT WE DO POST THE RESULTS OF A PRIVATE TASTING GROUP THAT'S BEEN MEETING FOR MORE THAN 40 YEARS!

We are working on organizing some blind-tastings at the shop.
Send us a note to indicate your interest in participating.
These would be on Wednesday evenings and you'd need to bring 8 wine glasses.

THE VINO-FINO TASTERS
(A private tasting group that's been meeting for more than 40 years!)

RIOJA REDS February 2017

AMERICAN "RHONE WANNABEES"  January 2017

2016 HOLIDAY WINE MARATHON  December 2016

GERMAN AUSLESEN RIESLINGS  November 2016

GRÜNER VELTLINERS Austrian vs The US  October 2016

GRENACHE -- MOSTLY WEST COAST  September 2016

WASHINGTON STATE CABERNETS  August 2016

CANNONAU DI SARDEGNA  July 2016

NORTHERN HEMISPHERE RIESLINGS  June 2016

2013 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS  May 2016

CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIRS  April 2016

MOSTLY CHIANTI RISERVAS  February 2016

2012 BORDEAUX--LEFT BANK  JANUARY 2016

HOLIDAY WINE MARATHON  December 2015

CATALONIA:  PRIORAT WINES  November 2015

CALIFORNIA ZINFANDELS  October 2015

WEST COAST SYRAHS   September 2015

SOUTH AFRICAN CABERNETS & CABERNET BLENDS   August 2015

PINOT BLANC July 2015

CROZES-HERMITAGE   June 2015

ECLECTIC SAUVIGNON BLANCS  May 2015

NEWLY-RELEASED CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIRS  April 2015

ALTO ADIGE LAGREINS  February 

WASHINGTON STATE CABERNETS  January 2015

2014 VINO FINO HOLIDAY WINE DINNER & TASTING  December 2014

MOSTLY GIGONDAS  October 2014

MOSTLY 2010 & 2011 CHATEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE WINES  September 2014

2012 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS of MODEST PRICE August 2014

SANCERRES   July 2014

2012 VINTAGE CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIRS  June 2014

MOSTLY ITALIAN BARBERA, MOSTLY 2011 VINTAGE  May 2014

CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIRS  April 2014

VINO FINO 40th ANNIVERSARY DINNER   February 2014

FRENCH WHITE BORDEAUX   January 2014

The 2013 HOLIDAY WINE & FOOD MARATHON  December 2013

AUSTRALIAN SHIRAZ   November 2013

MALBECS OF ARGENTINA  October 2013

AFFORDABLE FRENCH RED BURGUNDIES  September 2013

MOURVEDRE AND MOURVEDRE BLENDS  August 2013

ITALIAN VERMENTINO  July 2013

MOSTLY SPANISH TEMPRANILLO  JUNE 2013

CALIFORNIA GRENACHE & GRENACHE BLENDS  MAY 2013

TEMPRANILLOS (Mostly Southern Oregon)  FEBRUARY 2013

PORTUGUESE REDS Featuring TOURIGA NACIONAL  January 2013

2012 HOLIDAY WINE MARATHON at the OLYMPIC CLUB  December 2012

FRENCH & CALIFORNIA CHARDONNAYS  November 2012

WASHINGTON STATE CABERNETS  October 2012

AUSSIE SHIRAZ  September 2012

CALIFORNIA ZINFANDELS  August 2012

RIESLINGS FROM ALSACE  July 2012

2009 PIEMONTESE BARBERAS  June 2012

WEST COAST PINOT NOIRS  April 2012

MOSTLY 2009 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS  March 2012

WEST COAST SYRAHS  February 2012

PRIMITIVO FROM PUGLIA AND SONOMA  January 2012

VINO FINO HOLIDAY TASTING & DINNER  December 2011

MOSTLY CHAMPAGNE WITH TWO MYSTERY CONTESTANTS  November 2011

VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO MEETS WASHINGTON STATE   October 2011

MOSTLY SONOMA ZINFANDELS  September 2011

LOIRE VALLEY CHENIN BLANCS  August 2011

2008 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS  July 2011

MOSTLY 2006 NAPA CABERNETS   June 2011

2008-2009 PIEMONTESE BARBERAS  May 2011

2008-2009 CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIRS  April 2011

MOSTLY 2008 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS  March 2011

GERMAN SPÄTLESE RIESLINGS (Mostly) February 2011

2009 CRU BEAUJOLAIS   January 2011

VINO FINO HOLIDAY DINNER & WINE MARATHON  December 2010

MODESTLY-PRICED OREGON PINOT NOIRS  November 2010

MOSTLY 2007 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS  October 2010

MODESTLY-PRICED CALIFORNIA ZINFANDELS  September 2010

2007 LEFT BANK BORDEAUX August 2010

WASHINGTON STATE CABS & BORDEAUX BLENDS
July 2010

2007 BARBERA  June 2010

2007 NAPA & SONOMA ZINFANDELS  April 2010

2007 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS  March 2010

2007 RUSSIAN RIVER PINOT NOIRS  February 2010

A RANGE OF FRENCH CHABLIS WINES  January 2010

HOLIDAY DINNER & WINE MARATHON  December 2009

ROSÉ SPARKLING WINES  November 2009

ARGENTINEAN MALBECS  October 2009

WEST COAST CHARDONNAYS  September 2009

GREEK RED WINES  August 2009

2005 BUDGET BORDEAUX  July 2009

CAMPANIAN WHITE WINES  June 2009

MIXED BAG OF CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIRS  April 2009

RIOJA WINES, MOSTLY FROM THE 2004 VINTAGE  March 2009

NORTH COAST PETITE SIRAHS  February 2009


SYRAH & PETITE SIRAH COMPARISON  January 2009

A VINO FINO CHRISTMAS  December 2008

MOSTLY 2005s: NAPA CABERNETS  November 2008

SONOMA COUNTY PINOT NOIRS  October 2008

SANTA RITA HILLS -2006 VINTAGE- PINOT NOIRS  SEPTEMBER 2008

NEWLY RELEASED ZINFANDELS  August 2008

WHITE RHÔNE VALLEY WINES  JULY 2008

LOIRE VALLEY SAUVIGNONS  JUNE 2008

FRENCH CHABLIS 2005-2006  MAY 2008

NORTHERN RHÔNE SYRAHS  APRIL 2008

SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS PINOT NOIRS  January 2008

ANNUAL HOLIDAY CHRISTMAS DINNER  December 2007

WEST COAST CHARDONNAYS  November 2007

AUSTRALIAN SHIRAZ  October 2007

SPANISH TEMPRANILLO WINES  September 2007

SONOMA'S 2005 VINTAGE ZINFANDELS  August 2007

CURRENT RELEASE (2004-2005) ZINFANDELS  July 2007

ROS WINES FROM ALL OVER  June 2007

ITALIAN LAGREIN WINES  May 2007

ARGENTINEAN MALBECS  April 2007

SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE PINOT NOIRS  March 2007

MOSTLY 2004 CABERNETS   February 2007

CRU BEAUJOLAIS  January 2007

A VINO FINO CHRISTMAS  December 2006

CALIFORNIA ZINFANDELS  November 2006

PINOT NOIRS of VALUE-PRICING  October 2006

WORLD OF SYRAHS TASTING September 2006

AUSSIE CABERNET-SHIRAZ BLENDS  August 2006

ALEXANDER VALLEY (California)  and MARGARET RIVER (Australia) CABERNETS  July 2006 

CALIFORNIA PETITE SIRAHS  June 2006

2004 NORTH COAST PINOTS and a FRENCH INTRUDER  May 2006

AGLIANICO : BASILICATA & CAMPANIA'S MAJOR RED WINE  April 2006

NERO D'AVOLA - A TASTE OF SICILIA  March 2006

UNDER THE VINO FINO RADAR ZINFANDELS  January 2006

HOLIDAY WINE TASTING & DINNER  December 2005

BUBBLIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD  November 2005

NORTH COAST PINOT NOIRS  October 2005

STATE OF CONFUSION CABERNETS  September 2005

TIM ZAINER'S SIDEWAYS LOOK AT MERLOTS  August 2005

LOIRE VALLEY CABERNET FRANCS  June 2005 

CALIFORNIA SYRAHS  March 2005

2002 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS  February 2005

VINO FINO HOLIDAY WINE MARATHON  December 2004

CHARDONNAYS OF MODEST PRICE November 2004

SPANISH TEMPRANILLO  October 2004

2002 CENTRAL COAST PINOT NOIRS  September 2004

AUSSIE SHIRAZ-CABERNET BLENDS  August 2004

GEWÜRZTRAMINERS FROM ALSACE July 2004

2001 SOUTHERN RHNES (7 Chteauneufs & a Vacqueyras)  June 2004

AGLIANICO WINES FROM CAMPANIA & BASILICATA  May 2004

MONTEPULCIANO WINES FROM THE ABRUZZO & MARCHE REGIONS  April 2004

SONOMA ZINFANDELS  February 2004

1997 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO  January 2004

VINO FINO HOLIDAY BACCHANALIA 2003

2001 CÔTES du RHÔNES  September 17, 2003

2000 OREGON PINOT NOIRS  August 20, 2003

WEST COAST SYRAHS  July 16, 2003

2000 Bordeaux  June 18, 2003

2000 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS May 21, 2003

OFF THE BEATEN PATH SYRAHS APRIL 16, 2003

2002 NEW ZEALAND SAUVIGNON BLANCS  March 19, 2003

1999 California CABERNETS  February 19, 2003

VINO FINO HOLIDAY BACCHANALIA December 4, 2002

CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIRS 1999-2000  November 20, 2002

AUSTRIAN WHITE WINES  October 16, 2002

AUSTRALIAN SHIRAZ  August 21, 2002

CHAMPAGNES & SPARKLERS July 17, 2002

Interesting Paired CHARDONNAYS
May 15, 2002

2001 Southern Hemisphere SAUVIGNON BLANCS   Feb. 20, 2002

1999 ZINFANDELS January 16, 2002

HOLIDAY SEASON BACCHANALIA
December 5, 2001

1999-2000 New PINOT NOIRS November 14, 2001

1999 CALIFORNIA ZINFANDELS October 17, 2001

1998 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS September 19, 2001

1999 LANGUEDOC REDS August 15, 2001

1997 SAUTERNES July 18, 2001

Mostly 1998 NEBBIOLO June 20, 2001

1999 PINOT NOIRS May 16, 2001

1996 SAINT-MILION Tasting April 18, 2001

CARNEROS CHARDONNAYS March 21, 2001

1984-1985 NAPA CABERNETS/John Vignau Memorial Tasting  October 20, 2000

1997 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS   September 20, 2000

1998 CALIFORNIA CHARDONNAYS   August 16, 2000

WINES FROM THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE: CLARETS  June 21, 2000

WINES FROM UNDER THE TUSCAN (and Umbrian) SUN   Aprile 19, 2000

1997 BORDEAUX: MEDOC May 17, 2000


 


WEIMAX TASTING ARCHIVE

NAPA CABERNETS 2004 Vintage  March 19, 2008

CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIRS-2005s  March 13, 2008

OREGON PINOT NOIRS  February 6, 2008

MOSTLY 2004 CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIRS  April 25, 2007

WASHINGTON STATE CLARETS  April, 11, 2007

2004 NORTHERN RHONE SYRAHS  April 4, 2007

2001 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO  March 28, 2007

2001 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS   November 8, 2006

2003 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS  October 18, 2006

2003 CHATEAUNEUF-DU-PAPES-Flight #2  October 4, 2006

OLDER TUSCAN REDS--MOSTLY SANGIOVESES   September 20, 2006

2003 NAPA CABERNETS  July 19, 2006

2003 SAINT EMILIONS  July 12, 2006

CALIFORNIA SYRAHS  2003-2004  July 5, 2006

2004 CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIRS  June 21, 2006

GRAND CRU BURGUNDIES 2003 VINTAGE  May 31, 2006

CELLAR DWELLERS:  1990 CABERNETS & 1990 BORDEAUX  May 17, 2006

SOUTH AMERICAN CLARETS  May 10, 2006

2003 CHATEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE  May 3, 2006

2004 GOLDEN STATE PINOT NOIRS  April 19, 2006

2002 NAPA CABERNETS  March 15, 2006

2003 WEST COAST PINOT NOIRS  March 8, 2006

2003 NORTH COAST ZINFANDELS  March 1, 2006

1996 BURGUNDIES vs. 1997 SONOMA PINOT NOIRS  November 9, 2005

2002 CABERNETS, ETC.   November 2, 2005

2002 NAPA CABERNETS  October 19, 2005

2002 GRAND CRU BURGUNDIES  September 14, 2005

2002 RED BURGUNDIES   September 7, 2005

2002 MEURSAULTS  August 31, 2005

NORTHERN RHNE SYRAHS  August 17, 2005

HIGHLY-REGARDED AUSSIE SHIRAZ  August 10, 2005

AUSSIE SHIRAZ UNDER $60  August 3, 2005

STUPIDLY-PRICED SPANISH TEMPRANILLO WINES  June 8, 2005

RANDOM CALIFORNIA SYRAHS  June 1, 2005

2002 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS  May 18, 2005

2001 NAPA CABERNETS  May 11, 2005

OREGON PINOT NOIRS-2002 & 2003 VINTAGE WINES   April 27, 2005

CELLAR DWELLERS: 1990 BURGUNDIES and a COUPLE OF CALIFORNIA PINOTS  April 6, 2005

CALIFORNIA ZINFANDELS (Mostly 2002s)  MARCH 16, 2002

1999 BRUNELLO di MONTALCINO  March 9, 2005

SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE CLARETS  March 2, 2005

PETITE SIRAHS  February 16, 2005

ROS CHAMPAGNES AND CALIFORNIA PINK BUBBLIES   February 9, 2005

CELLAR DWELLERS: 1991 CABERNET SAUVIGNONS   January 19, 2005

2001 FAMOUS AND INFAMOUS CABERNETS  November 10, 2004

2001 Napa CABERNETS  November 3, 2004

WEST COAST SYRAHS  October 20, 2004

1990 RED BORDEAUX & CALIFORNIA CLARETS  October 13, 2004

SPANISH TEMPRANILLOS of 1999 & 2000  September 29, 2004

2002 PULIGNY-MONTRACHET  September 8, 2004

2002 CHASSAGNE-MONTRACHET  September 1, 2004

UNDER THE RADAR PINOT NOIRS  August 18, 2004

2001 SAINT-JULIEN & PAUILLACS  July 21, 2004

2001 MARGAUX  July 14, 2004

CELLAR DWELLERS: 1982 BORDEAUX  July 7, 2004

2001 POMEROLS  June 30, 2004

2001 SAINT MILIONS  June 16, 2004

2000 CLOS de VOUGEOT (and a ringer) MAY 12, 2004

2001 OREGON PINOT NOIRS  May 5, 2004

2001 CALIFORNIA MERLOTS  April 21, 2004

1994 WEST COAST CABERNETS  APRIL 14, 2004

1999-2000 BORDEAUX COMPARISON
March 10, 2004

1999 BAROLO March 3, 2004

2000 Deluxe Napa CABERNETS  February 18, 2004

2000 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS $50 & Under   February 11, 2004

1998 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO  February 4, 2004

TURLEY ZINFANDELS  1995 & 1999 Vintages   January 7, 2004

2000 PRESTIGIOUS WEST COAST CABERNETS  November 12, 2003

1999 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS  November 5, 2003

SANTA LUCIA HIGHLANDS PINOT NOIRS  October 29, 2003

MOSTLY 2001 VINTAGE GIGONDAS October 22, 2003

SPANISH TEMPRANILLO WINES October 9, 2003

SPARKLING WINES-METHODE CHAMPENOISE  October 1, 2003

1996 (Mostly) AUSTRALIAN (Mostly) SHIRAZ September 24, 2003

2000 NUITS-ST.-GEORGES  September 10, 2003

PRIORATO WINES FROM SPAIN  September 3, 2003

WEST COAST SANGIOVESES  August 27, 2003

2000 PULIGNY-MONTRACHET (Mostly Premier Cru Wines)  August 13, 2003

2000 CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY  August 6, 2003

2000 NAPA CABERNETS  July 30, 2003

1999 TUSCAN SANGIOVESE-BASED WINES  July 23, 2003

2000 VINTAGE MERLOTS  July 9, 2003

SYRAHS FROM HITHER & YON  July 2, 2003

2001 CALIFORNIA ZINFANDELS  June 25, 2003

NEW PINOT NOIRS  June 4, 2003

1999 NAPA CABERNETS May 28, 2003

1994 PINOT NOIRS  May 14, 2003

CHILEAN CLARETS  May 7, 2003

PETITE SIRAHS of Current Release.
April 30, 2003


1999 CHASSAGNE-MONTRACHETS  Premier Cru Selections   April 9, 2003

1999 GRAND CRU'S of GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN  April 2, 2003

1999-2000 SOUTHERN FRENCH REDS (RHONE WANNABE'S)  MARCH 26, 2003

1995-1996 VINTAGE CHAMPAGNE TASTING MARCH 12, 2003

2000 CHATEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE TASTING  MARCH 5, 2003 

2000 NAPA VALLEY CABERNET TASTING  FEBRUARY 26th, 2003

1990 FRENCH RED BURGUNDY TASTING  February 12, 2003

1999 & 2000 CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIRS  November 13, 2002

1999 NAPA CABERNETS  November 6, 2002

1997 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO  OCTOBER 30, 2002

AUSSIE SHIRAZ TASTING  OCTOBER 23, 2002

1999 CHATEAUNEUF-du-PAPE TASTING  October 9, 2002

1999 NAPA CABERNETS  September 25, 2002

1999 WASHINGTON STATE CABERNETS  September 11, 2002

1991 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS  September 4, 2002

1999 PULIGNY-MONTRACHET 1er Cru Tasting  August 28, 2002

AUSTRALIAN CABERNETS (Mostly 1999s) August 14, 2002

1999 FRENCH BURGUNDY July 24, 2002

1999 GRAVES BLANC July 10, 2002

2000 CALIFORNIA CHARDONNAY  July 3, 2002

1999/2000 CONDRIEU TASTING  June 26, 2002

1999 PAUILLAC & SAINT JULIEN TASTING  June 12, 2002

1999 MARGAUX TASTING  June 5, 2002

1985 CABERNETS & MEDOC TASTING May 29, 2002

1998 California CABERNETS   May 22, 2002

South American MALBEC May 8, 2002

1999 West Coast MERLOTS  May 1, 2002

Central Coast (California) PINOT NOIRS  April 24, 2002

2001 Southern Hemisphere SAUVIGNON BLANCS  April 10, 2002

1999 CALIFORNIA ZINFANDELS  April 3, 2002

1999 FRENCH RHÔNE SYRAHS February 13, 2002

(Mostly) 1999 CALIFORNIA SYRAHS January 30, 2002

MORE 1997 BAROLO  January 23, 2002

1997 Late-Released CABERNETS  January 9, 2002

1997 BAROLO  October 24, 2001

1985-1990 RED BURGUNDIES  October 10, 2001

1998 Grand Crus of Gevrey Chambertin  October 3, 2001

PRIORAT WINES  September 26, 2001

1998 CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE September 12, 2001

1999 "High Roller" CHARDONNAYS  September 5, 2001

1998 BORDEAUX  August 22, 2001

1999 WEST COAST PINOT NOIRS August 8, 2001

1997 VOSNE-ROMANÉE Tasting  August 1, 2001

1999 CALIFORNIA ZINS  July 25, 2001

1998 CABERNET SAUVIGNONS  July 11,  2001

OLD CALIFORNIA CHARDONNAYS June 6, 2001

1997 ECHEZEAUX May 30, 2001

1999 NORTH COAST ZINFANDELS May 23, 2001

1999 West Coast Merlots May 9, 2001

1999 WEST COAST PINOT NOIRS May 2, 2001

1997 BARBARESCO  April 25, 2001

Mostly RUSSIAN RIVER PINOT NOIRS  April 11, 2001

1997 NAPA CABERNETS April 4, 2001

1995 BRUNELLO di MONTALCINO March 28, 2001

1997 CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY & MOREY SAINT DENIS
with one 1996...March 14, 2001

1997 GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN  March 7, 2001

1996 BAROLO  February 28, 2001

1978-1979 California Cabernets January 10, 2001

1997 California Cabernets November 8, 2000

1997 TUSCAN SANGIOVESES  November 1, 2000

1997-1998 Châteauneuf-du-Pape & CALIFORNIA WANNABEEs  October 25, 2000

Mostly 1998 PINOT NOIRS  October 11, 2000

1996 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS  October 4, 2000

MATURE CLARETS  September 27, 2000

1997 RED BORDEAUX  September 13, 2000

1997 NAPA CABERNETS   September 6, 2000

1998 CALIFORNIA CHARDONNAYS   August 30, 2000

1997 CLOS DE VOUGEOTS August 23, 2000

PETITE SIRAH & SYRAH (West Coast)  August 9, 2000

FANCY CALIFORNIA MERLOTS   August 2, 2000

1996 FAMOUS CALIFORNIA CABERNETS  June 14, 2000

WEST COAST SYRAHS  June 7, 2000

1997 CABERNETS  May 31, 2000

VIOGNIERS of RECENT VINTAGE May 24, 2000

1997-1998 ZINFANDELS  May 10, 2000

SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE CLARETS May 3, 2000

1996 California CABERNETS  April 12, 2000

1996 FRENCH RED BURGUNDIES   March 29, 2000

CALIFORNIA vs ITALIAN (Tuscan) SANGIOVESE  March 22, 2000

WEST COAST PINOT NOIRS  March 8, 2000

AUSSIE SHIRAZ TASTING  March 1, 2000

FRENCH CHAMPAGNES (NV BRUTS)  January 5, 2000

1996 BORDEAUX (MEDOC) TASTING  November 10, 1999

CABERNET-INFLUENCED VINI FROM ITALY November 3, 1999

CABERNETS OF THE WORLD TASTING October 27, 1999

 

 

 

 

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