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Flanagan Syrah 2016

ID No: 447534
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 94 Points
Organic:Yes
Vintage:2016
Bottle Size:750 ml
Product Description

Flanagan Syrah is made from 100 percent Syrah.

The Flanagan Syrah Bennett Valley opens with notes of white pepper, cherry blossom, and Bay Leaf. The palate has ripe black fruit, bacon fat, and Herbs de Provence with a surprising amount of tannin structure for New World Syrah. The wine is ripe and generous and retains great acids. The small berries produced from the steep, volcanic hillside site gives the wine great color and concentration. This is a wine that can stand proudly with top Syrah from around the world.

Aged in 100% French oak barrels from Allier Centre France cooperage with 15% new barrels.

Review:

"Impressive dark fruit in the blackberry zone and sweetly fragrant spices with hints of pepper and oak toast. The palate has a very supple and juicy edge with a suave, plush and smoothly delivered, black-cherry and blackberry core of flavor. Drink or hold."

- James Suckling (November 2018), 94 pts

Winery: Flanagan Winery

Flanagan Winery:

Eric Flanagan is the founder and visionary behind the Flanagan wines and Flanagan brand.

Our journey into wine began with a love of wine and an appreciation of the places that create unique wines. In the early 1990’s, wine quality exploded higher in Sonoma and Napa. It was an exciting time to be a consumer of wines from Northern California and a great time to come and meet the vintners who were responsible for these inspiring new wines. We began in 1999 with the purchase of forty acres in Bennett Valley. In 2011, we acquired a small Russian River Valley vineyard, and, starting with the 2014 vintage, we have added vineyard designated wines from top vineyards in the Russian River Valley and the Sonoma Coast. Vineyard sources now include Ritchie Vineyard and Bacigalupi Vineyard for Chardonnay, and Sunchase and Sonoma Stage for Pinot Noir. In 2015, we will also add the iconic Platt Vineyard as a source for both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. We believe that Platt may be the best vineyard in California for those varieties.

Sustainability at Flanagan:
There are a few marketing buzzwords that are prevelant in the wine industry right now that can be very confusing to the consumer. Terms like organic, biodynamic, sustainable... What exactly do those terms mean? To us, it's very simple. Sustainabliltiy means we farm our vineyards with long term mindset. We do everything we can to ensure that this land will be as healthy, or healthier than it was when we found it. We are in the process of having our vineyards certified as sustainable by the California Sustainable Winegrowers Alliance "CSWA".
Sonoma County is making a huge push to be the first farm community to be 100% certified sustainable. The CSWA program has 138 catagories for vineyard owners to self assess and then they support the process with an outside auditor. Sonoma County has hired a full time sustainablility coordinator and is making great progress towards our goal of have all of the vineyards in Sonoma County farmed sustainably.

Date Founded: 2005
Owner: Eric Flanagan
Winery Philosophy: We strive to make wine from what we feel are the very best, most distinctive vineyard sources in Sonoma County. We are specifically committed to only introduce wines from sites we believe in wholeheartedly.

Proprietor Eric Flanagan:

Eric came to the wine business from a love of wine. His family did not own a winery or a vineyard, and Eric did not grow up on a farm. Through his travels Eric became fascinated by how grapes of the same variety expressed themselves in different places. From New Zealand to Greece, Eric visited wine growing regions around the world, but in the late 90's he chose to create his vision in Sonoma. He started in 1999 with the purchase of 40 acres on the side of Bennett Mountain and expanded in 2011 with the purchase of their Russian River Valley site. Flanagan is now producing wines from several of the top vineyards in Sonoma County under their vineyard designate program. Flanagan is becoming known for making great wines from the best vineyards in Sonoma County.
Eric, Kit, and their 3 daughters (Riley, Lola, and Ruby) make their home at the Three Starrs Vineyard along with 3 dogs, 10 ducks, 4 Dwarf Nigerian goats, 2 geese, 1 donkey, and 1 mule (also named Ruby).

 

Winemaker Cabell Coursey:

Cabell joined Flanagan Vineyards as Winemaker in 2014. His obsession with winemaking began with a harvest in Burgundy while he was enjoying an undergraduate semester abroad. After finishing his B.S., Cabell spent a few vintages picking grapes and scrubbing floors in Burgundy, and then moved up to Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Following his time in Oregon, Cabell traveled to Christchurch, New Zealand, where earned degrees in Enology and Viticulture from Lincoln University. During his time in New Zealand Cabell focused on cool climate viticulture, which serves him very well in his current role at Flanagan. Cabell has also held winemaking positions at Alder Springs Vineyard, Dumol, and Kosta Browne.
Cabell’s approach to winemaking is to use his senses in conjunction with his knowledge in biology, chemistry, and farming.

Cabell describes his philosophy:
“Winemaking is the culmination of a vast number of decisions. Starting with the site, the farming practice, the response to weather conditions, the picking date, the tank and barrel programs, ferment protocols, and continuing through blending and bottling. It is the daily decisions, actions, and sometimes lack of action that unlocks a vineyard’s highest potential. This quest to reveal each vineyards unique personality, while dealing with the challenges inherent in farming, is what makes winemaking challenging, interesting, and highly rewarding. My goal is always the same, to deliver each vineyard’s best expression in each vintage and to make a wine where the last glass is better than the first.”

Winery/Vineyards
Winery Acreage: 69 acres
Winery Production: 4,300 / 9L cases
Winemaker: Cabell Coursey

The vineyards represents 69 acres in total:
Graves vineyards is 13 acres, planted with Syrah (6 acres), Cabernet Sauvignon (4 acres) and Merlot (3 acres). 
Platt vineyards is 34 acres, planted with Chardonnay (13 acres) and Pinot Noir (18 acres) and Riesling (1.4 acres)
and Gaps View is 22 acres, all planted with Pinot Noir.

 

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Review:


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- Tim Atkin (South Africa 2019 Special Report), 97 pts


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- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2019), 97 pts


 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 97 97 Points
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After 20 years of marketing Napa Valley and its wines, Karen Cakebread launched her own project in 2008 with two major goals in mind: to create beautifully structured wines that reflect the vineyards from which they come, and to be involved in every aspect of making the wines.Karen started ZIATA, named in honor of her mother, Mary Annunziata, in 2008 with three varietals: Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, which she chose for their food-friendly qualities. She hired Anne Vawter, a protégée of Heidi Barrett, as winemaker and sourced grapes from sustainable sources, working closely with the grape growers through the growing season, knowing that efforts made in the vineyard would create better wine than those manipulated in the cellar.Jennifer Williams : I find winemaking to be both an art and a trade—you learn by doing and working the vineyards, ensuring the fruit is the best it can be long before it’s picked is at least half the work of the winemaker.

Review:

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-- Antonio Galloni Vinous 96 Points




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Review:

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Review:

"Refined and stylish, featuring a complex core wrapped in multilayered blackberry and blueberry flavors, laced with bitter chocolate, black licorice and smoky meat notes. Drink now through 2030.- Tim FISH"
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Pair with game or venison. Although any red meat works well. 

Review:


"This world-class Syrah hails from a 0.7-hectare parcel planted on a ridge in 2005. Made with no stems in 2016 – the wine normally sees 15% whole bunches - it's like a Cape Côte Rôtie, all perfume, nuance and texture, with notes of ginger spice, barbecued meat and some ferrous grip. 2021-28"

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 95 Points
Keermont Syrah 2016

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Review:


"The 2016 Syrah has a mellow, warm, inviting bouquet of red cherries, crushed strawberry, star anise and orange liqueur scents. The palate is medium-bodied with lithe tannins, quite fleshy and satin-like in texture, though it decides not to exert too much grip on the finish. This is drinking perfectly now and should continue to do so for the next 10–12 years. - Neal Martin"


- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2021), 91 pts

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Argot Mosaic Syrah 2016

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"Refined and stylish, featuring a complex core wrapped in multilayered blackberry and blueberry flavors, laced with bitter chocolate, black licorice and smoky meat notes. Drink now through 2030.- Tim FISH"
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Betz Family Domaine de Pierres Syrah 2016

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The Rocks AVA produces syrah that shows a distinct character, separating it from any other site in Washington State. One thing in particular that has drawn people here is the gallet stones present throughout the valley. They are very similar to the pudding stones that are found in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and can be anywhere from golf ball size, to softball size or larger. Since we purchased the vineyard in 2014 we have been tilling the earth multiple times every season to expose these rocks. The gallet stones act like a heat sink, giving a little extra push to help ripen syrah in an area with marginal heat accumulation. 

In the glass, Domaine de Pierres stands out from our other syrah's because of its incredibly savory profile. Notes of roasted meat, fresh herbs, olive tapenade, tobacco and graphite are supported by dark fruit, espresso, and lavendar. The wine has a lower acidity and higher PH than our other wines, which contributes to a velvety, full bodied mouthfeel. Even in the cellar, we immediately noticed a difference in the color, aromatics and flavor that these syrah grapes were able to express. 

The other big reason that we are so excited about the wine from this particular AVA, is that the history of the Rocks is happening right now! Our vineyard, “Ancient Stones,” has only been planted there since 2007, and the beginning of the Rocks as a wine growing region only really started in the 1990's. There is a lot of energy and exploration going on, and it has been a fun experience for our team to be a part of it.  We still have so much to learn about this region and it is very exciting to feel like we are on the upward swing!

Review:

"This has strident peppery notes with a layer of sappy whole-cluster fragrances and complexity as well as fresh charcuterie meats, smoky notes and graphite. Red plums and blackberries lurk beneath. The palate has deep chocolate and cherry fruits. Very suave, supple tannins carry dark plums, dark chocolate and energetic freshness to the finish. Give this 2-3 years to integrate."
- James Suckling (2018), 95 pts

 95 Points
Boekenhoutskloof Syrah Swartland 2016

Boekenhoutskloof Syrah Swartland is made from 100 percent Syrah. 

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The nose is perfumed, forthcoming and fresh, offering an array of rich dark fruits with a spicy, floral, even feral character, derived from complex aromas of dark berries, plums, violets, black olives, star anise and potting soil. The black fruits and earthy character of the nose follow through onto a dark, brooding palate with flavours of wild berries, brambles, liquorice, tobacco, cloves and black cardamom. The mid-palate is concentrated, deep, dense and slightly dusty, with dry, very fine cocoa-powdery tannins lending structure. The wine is very precise, with a medium to full body, a tight, grainy texture and vibrant acidity to balance. Blackberries, blueberries and notes of garrigue and dark chocolate linger on a savoury finish.

Review:


Using fruit from two exceptional Swartland sources – Goldmine and mostly Porseleinberg – this foudre-aged Syrah is fresh, subtle and intensely aromatic, as schist Syrahs often tend to be. Complex, floral and refined with remarkable freshness and palate length. Drink: 2020-2028.
 – Tim Atkin MW, 95/100


 95 Points
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