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Betz Family La Cote Rousse Syrah 2015

Sweet, savory aromas lead the way, sort of a mineral-laden black fruit---dark berries and plums. Smoke, dried herbs, violet, meat, wet stones and a hint of ironstone complete the package. It penetrates yet is a broad fragrant expression. I've always felt the aromatic range of this wine has its foundation in the four clones we use.

The black fruits continue on the palate, with black cherry, dark plum and spices echoing the aroma. While it's rich, almost luxurious, there's a tannic foundation and a structured acidity. Floral and earthy, the dried herbs and stones emerge here too, along with tobacco, thyme and lavender. This is a food-lover's Syrah, with weight, brightness and dimension.

(Clones 174, 383, 99 and Phelps) Vineyards: Ciel du Cheval Ranch at the End of the Road Classic Red Mountain character defines the Syrah La Côte Rousse, despite being the product of a cooler vintage. The warm site vineyards, Ciel du Cheval and Ranch at the End of the Road accumulated more heat than our other sites and ripened the four Syrah clones to a greater extent; we’ve never seen Red Mountain deliver less than full physiological maturity, every vintage. Nevertheless this vintage retains a vibrancy and energy that isn’t often found on Red Mountain.

Review:

The 2015 Syrah la Cote Rousse is a blockbuster Syrah from Red Mountain that’s from the Ranch at the End of The Road and Ciel du Cheval vineyards. It’s a mix of four different clones and is brought up in barrel. This deep, inky, seriously black Syrah gives up Hermitage-like notes of scorched earth, charred meats, graphite and licorice. It’s a big, concentrated effort that’s going to benefit from short-term cellaring and keep through 2035. Robert Parker 96 Points

 


 Wine Advocate: 96
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Krutz Family Sonoma County Chardonnay 2013

Bright and light golden-yellow in color. Exotic and sweet vanilla bean aromatics backed by pear and kiwi with a slight orange peel. The palate resonates with texture and depth as stone minerality and cream brioche to match. Flavors of roasted plantains, gravenstein apple, and lemon zest frame the wine for a long yet soft finish.

Planted in the early 90’s, this is the coolest vineyard site in the Russian River Valley, located at Lee Martinelli Sr.’s home ranch in Forestville, CA. After riding around with Lee in his pick-up truck when we visited his Woolsey Road, Zio Tony, and River Road Vineyards, he decided to take me to this gem. He kept this particular vineyard in his back pocket until we hit it off. We did, and I think you’ll enjoy the ride as well.


Review:

Elusively crisp and inviting on the nose, this is a thickly intriguing wine, floral in orange blossom and fresh apple. Structured and lengthy, it retains a tangy acidity and structured finish, the grapes sourced from a dry-farmed vineyard. - Wine Enthusiast 92 Points

 Wine Enthusiast: 92
Mullineux Swartland Syrah 2015

Mullineux Swartland Syrah  is 100 percent Syrah

Winemaking:
Hand picked grapes are cooled in our cold room, where after they are crushed and destemmed to tank, and between 20 to 50% whole bunches are added. 25ppm SO2 is added, and as with all our wines, no other additions are made. The must is initially pigeaged once a day. After about 4 days, fermentation begins with indigenous yeasts, and the wine is pigeaged once or twice a day, depending on extract and tannin development. Temperatures are not allowed to exceed 30 degrees centigrade. Fermentation lasts from 7 to 10 days, and after fermentation, two to four weeks (also depending on tannin development) skin contact is given. The wine is then drained and pressed to barrel for malolactic fermentation and maturation. The different parcels are racked in Spring to blend the wine, which is then returned to barrel and bottled unfiltered and unfined after 11 months in barrel. Please decant (or give time!) when drunk young.

Maturation:
11 months, French oak 225L & 500L barrels, and 2000L Foudre. 15% new wood in total.

Tasting Note:
Black pepper, crushed ripe berry, and tobacco aromas linger on the nose. This juice is every bit of full-bodied on the palate. Well integrated tannin gives the wine a silky texture. Flavors of blackberry, herb, and spice layer throughout and into the long silky finish. This is a big wine that can take on another 10+ years of age and will need some serious decanting if consumed early. 30 minutes of decanting will allow the wine to open beautifully.  

   Review:

Swartland (13.5%) Seven different vineyards on a combination of granite, schist and iron soils make up the blend of this brilliant, textbook Syrah. Running to 35,000 bottles, it has a touch of new oak, wonderful fragrance and perfume, some whole bunch grip and a smoky, brambly mid palate. 2017-23 - Tim Atkins 94 Points

"The 2015 Syrah includes two additional vineyards on granite soils after the 2015, whilst the whole bunch component is back up to 60%. It has a clean and precise bouquet with floral-tinged red berry fruit (red cherry and wild strawberry), nicely focused and developing more intensity with aeration. The palate is very well balanced with crisp acidity, fine structure, much more detail than the 2014 and I think that is down to the higher whole bunch proportion, the sense of energy flowing through on the long finish. Compared to the 2014 Syrah, I much prefer this: more freshness and complexity. - Neal Martin"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #230, April 2017), 93 pts

 

 Wine Advocate: 93 94 Points

 
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Finca Sobreno Ildefonso Toro 2014

Finca Sobreno Ildefonso Toro  is made from 100% Tinta de Toro
Very Old Vines (Minimum 80 years of age)
Aged in 100% new French Oak Barrels for 18 months + 12 months in the bottle

The wine is produced in very limited quantity from the estate's oldest vineyards (80 years old vines) and is fermented in 2,000-liter open-top fermentation vats. Our winemaker punches down the cap by hand three times a day using the traditional pigeage method to ensure optimal extraction.

The name of the wine is the surname of the San Ildefonso family, father Roberto and daughter Paloma, and represents the apex of their winemaking tradition.

Tasting notes
Deep cherry color.
Very expressive, elegant and complex with ripe fruit, mineral notes, sweet spices, chocolate aromas and intense toasts.
Powerful, tasty, round and very smooth. We find again black berries, mineral notes, chocolates with roasted aromas. Very long after taste.

Soil types:
The soil is formed by sediments of sand, clay and limestone, which produce a dark lime-bearing topsoil, with fine and coarse sands.
This year we had low rain falls getting very healthy bunches. Besides, cool nights and not very hot days at the end of the cycle were excellent for a complete ripening of the grapes, full of nuances.

Winemaking and aging
The fruit is manually selected and picked in small cases. After destemming the grapes are stored in 2.000 liter open fermenter tanks and cold maceration at 8ºC during 8 days. Three times a day the cap of the skins is submerged manually (pigeage) and after the alcoholic fermentation is finished at a controlled temperature, the wine is macerated until the wine maker determines the appropriate extraction polyphenols. The malolactic fermentation is carried out in new French oak barrels. The wine was aged in new French oak barrels for 16 months, followed by another 12 months minimum in the bottle.

Ideal for red meats, lamb, roasted meat and strong cheeses