TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

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John Glas
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TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#1 Post by John Glas » October 4th, 2019, 2:13 pm

  • 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (10/2/2019)
    Day 1: 12.9% alcohol. One of the more interesting wines I have tasted this year. Black and green olives, tar, roasted meats, ink, stone, white pepper and violets. On the palate picks up some blueberries and boysenberries. This possesses a long, concentrated finish. Top five wine for sure this year! Reminds me of the better wines from the Rocks district. Outstanding. 95 points
    Day 2: Not as intense but still many similar qualities. Black and green olives are pronounced along with stone, violets, roasted meats, white pepper and tar. Medium to long finish. Good acidity. Just a well made enjoyable wine. Not an in your face effort like so many Syrahs out there. 93 points
    Day 3: Olives, tar, gravel, spice, floral, roasted meats and white pepper. Very interesting wine and holding strong on day 3. Similar to day 2 in quality. 93 points
    Recommendation: For $40 this is a no brainer wine. Drinks better than wines 2 to 3 times the price. This will drink well from now to 2025. (95 pts.)
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#2 Post by Doug Schulman » October 4th, 2019, 2:25 pm

I suspect it will outlive your aging estimate by quite a bit. This seems built to last, and successfully so. I actually think somewhere around 2025 is when I might want to start drinking it. I agree that it's an impressive wine.
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#3 Post by John Glas » October 4th, 2019, 2:38 pm

Doug one of the more unique wines I have tasted. My theory has always been if it is good now drink within five years. I don't know that I could have the patience past 2025. Great value!

You can get six of these for one Chave.

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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#4 Post by Doug Schulman » October 4th, 2019, 2:43 pm

I could definitely be wrong! Either way, yes, it is a great value.
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#5 Post by Mattstolz » October 4th, 2019, 3:34 pm

I can't tell if this wine just has a ton of bottle variation or is just really polarizing. Ive tried it from 3 bottles: one I didn't get to taste until it had been open for almost 4 days and it was just killer. olive and meat and bright fruit. one was all rip-roaring acid in the wrong way, even a couple days in, and one had some VA and still a mildly out of balance acid backbone that felt like it would eventually integrate with time.

The CT notes seem to be similar. I'm burying the two in my stash for several years before I touch them again. I'm an acid freak but these just seemed all out of sorts at the moment.

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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#6 Post by Doug Schulman » October 4th, 2019, 3:42 pm

I've only tasted it once. It seemed like a really nice wine that needed a few years to come together. I might try that out to see what happens. VA on one that you tried concerns me a bit.
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#7 Post by James Kennedy » October 4th, 2019, 7:45 pm

Had a discussion about ageability of the pax Sonoma hillsides (the ‘16 in particular) a few days ago with a fellow berserker. I also feel like if they’re drinking excellent now that I should enjoy now and save few/none as an experiment later (can always find at auction if I’m wrong).

Not enough experience with carbonic wines to know how they develop over time - anyone find an analogous Rhône or other wine that we can benchmark these wines against?

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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#8 Post by John Glas » October 5th, 2019, 6:29 am

I can't tell if this wine just has a ton of bottle variation or is just really polarizing. Ive tried it from 3 bottles: one I didn't get to taste until it had been open for almost 4 days and it was just killer. olive and meat and bright fruit. one was all rip-roaring acid in the wrong way, even a couple days in, and one had some VA and still a mildly out of balance acid backbone that felt like it would eventually integrate with time.

The CT notes seem to be similar. I'm burying the two in my stash for several years before I touch them again. I'm an acid freak but these just seemed all out of sorts at the moment.
The bottle I had olives screamed right out of the gate. It is amazing how bottles differ.

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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#9 Post by John Glas » October 5th, 2019, 6:30 am

I have no doubt this will be great years to come. I need to get six more of these and try them ever 2 years to see the evolution.

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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#10 Post by J.Vizuete » October 7th, 2019, 4:57 pm

I’ve had 5 or so of these over the last year and the style appeals to me. Fans of acid and briny flavors will enjoy. I love the explosive aromatics, but everything seems to be settling down. Also, VA here and there is no stranger to Pax’s wines
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#11 Post by Mattstolz » October 7th, 2019, 5:14 pm

J.Vizuete wrote:
October 7th, 2019, 4:57 pm
I’ve had 5 or so of these over the last year and the style appeals to me. Fans of acid and briny flavors will enjoy. I love the explosive aromatics, but everything seems to be settling down. Also, VA here and there is no stranger to Pax’s wines
Im glad to hear that you're feeling it settle down. thats what I was hoping it would do, and while I still have two in my cellar. some of the older wind gap syrups have been some of my favorite wines Ive had in the last year or so, which gives me a lot of confidence in the evolution

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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#12 Post by Ian Alper » October 7th, 2019, 6:48 pm

For those thinking this will improve over many years, do you have any experience with other wines, made using this method, that have aged well?

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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#13 Post by J.Vizuete » October 7th, 2019, 8:29 pm

I’m curious as to the same question.

Matt, maybe “losing steam” would be a better metaphor. I don’t mean to say that the wine is integrating or coming into balance, rather that it has lost some of that nouveau freshness and pop that make it stand out stylistically in the first place. When I first tasted 16 (and 17, too) they were total wow wines. They still are special but I’m viewing it largely as drink early
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#14 Post by A. So » October 7th, 2019, 9:44 pm

John Glas wrote:
October 4th, 2019, 2:38 pm
You can get six of these for one Chave.
I'll take the Chave.
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#15 Post by Chris Seiber » October 7th, 2019, 9:49 pm

A. So wrote:
October 7th, 2019, 9:44 pm
John Glas wrote:
October 4th, 2019, 2:38 pm
You can get six of these for one Chave.
I'll take the Chave.
Aren’t they both 93 point wines?

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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#16 Post by Yao C » October 7th, 2019, 10:38 pm

Matt thank you for that; I've been hoping that the 16 and 17 will integrate some of their stemmy austerity over time, and will be waiting to revisit my remaining bottles in 5 years or so
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#17 Post by Robert M yers » October 7th, 2019, 10:50 pm

Chris Seiber wrote:
October 7th, 2019, 9:49 pm
A. So wrote:
October 7th, 2019, 9:44 pm
John Glas wrote:
October 4th, 2019, 2:38 pm
You can get six of these for one Chave.
I'll take the Chave.
Aren’t they both 93 point wines?
Well done [rofl.gif]

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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#18 Post by Mattstolz » October 8th, 2019, 3:30 am

J.Vizuete wrote:
October 7th, 2019, 8:29 pm
I’m curious as to the same question.

Matt, maybe “losing steam” would be a better metaphor. I don’t mean to say that the wine is integrating or coming into balance, rather that it has lost some of that nouveau freshness and pop that make it stand out stylistically in the first place. When I first tasted 16 (and 17, too) they were total wow wines. They still are special but I’m viewing it largely as drink early
I have been operating under the impression that a lot of the Pax labelled wines now are made similar to how he made the wind gap wines early on based on some podcasts I listened to. I'm not 100% sure it translates to exactly similar winemaking though, but like I mentioned a little higher up in the thread, the selections of those wines that I've had in the past year or two are really well balanced at this point now. maybe it is the acid losing some steam... but whatever brings that acid a little more into balance compared to at release is what I'd be hoping for anyways.

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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#19 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » October 8th, 2019, 4:46 am

Largely agree Matt. Pax 2.0 is not the same as Pax 1.0. I jokingly refer to 2.0 as Pax Gap every once in a while. It's not quite like Wind Gap, but not full on old Pax. It's also rather wine dependent, with Sonoma Hillsides closer to the Wind Gap style, and things such as Griffin's Lair hewing closer to old Pax.
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#20 Post by larry schaffer » October 8th, 2019, 7:44 am

Sounds like an interesting wine - and I'm a big fan of Pax's use of whole clusters in his wines and always have been.

The thing that concerns me a bit is the bottle variation here - and what might be causing it. Some of this has to be chalked up to differences in perceptions from individuals, which is inevitable, but the VA thing is concerning (unless, again, different folks are looking at the same thing in very different ways).

I will probably grab a bottle or three and try at least one now to see what's going on - but thanks for all of the notes and feedback thus far.

Cheers.
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#21 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » October 8th, 2019, 7:47 am

I have not run into VA...not at all.
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#22 Post by larry schaffer » October 8th, 2019, 8:14 am

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
October 8th, 2019, 7:47 am
I have not run into VA...not at all.
Great to hear - and hope that this is consistent but based on the number of others stating that they are, either you are 'lucky' OR their perception of VA is your perception of 'something else' perhaps?

Cheers.
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#23 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » October 8th, 2019, 8:32 am

Perhaps it’s a misunderstanding of VA. Lord knows I have been schooled on that in the past.
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#24 Post by Hank Victor » October 8th, 2019, 1:04 pm

Had 1 bottle last December and it was really bad.... Sitting on 5 more and waiting for the right moment. Cellartracker scores are all over the place.
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#25 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » October 8th, 2019, 1:16 pm

What was bad about it? The 2017 was much more raw/unformed on release than the lauded 2016. It has mostly rounded into form now.
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#26 Post by Keith A k e r s » October 8th, 2019, 1:31 pm

Mattstolz wrote:
October 7th, 2019, 5:14 pm
J.Vizuete wrote:
October 7th, 2019, 4:57 pm
I’ve had 5 or so of these over the last year and the style appeals to me. Fans of acid and briny flavors will enjoy. I love the explosive aromatics, but everything seems to be settling down. Also, VA here and there is no stranger to Pax’s wines
Im glad to hear that you're feeling it settle down. thats what I was hoping it would do, and while I still have two in my cellar. some of the older wind gap syrups have been some of my favorite wines Ive had in the last year or so, which gives me a lot of confidence in the evolution
I'm not sure that I'd equate the old Pax to this though. I have actually quite enjoyed what the old fruit bombs have turned into, but (and I think we've talked about this) this is an entirely different beast and I wonder how well this can truly age with the amount of carbonic that goes into it.


I've had this twice now from a friend who bought a case off the list and it's still a bit grapey to me. I'm not sure what it'll turn into and I guess I'll find out as I know enough people that have this. But, I'm also glad that I don't have like 5 or 6 bottles that I'm praying that they hold up.

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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#27 Post by Hank Victor » October 8th, 2019, 1:40 pm

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
October 8th, 2019, 1:16 pm
What was bad about it? The 2017 was much more raw/unformed on release than the lauded 2016. It has mostly rounded into form now.
extremely under ripe, fuchsia color and briney. Acid way out of balance. In its defense it was pitted against a 93 Turley Hayne Vineyard Petite Sirah, an 06 Spring Mountain Vineyard Cabernet, and a bottle of Krug 166e during a steakhouse diner. Had it been consumed in a different setting I am sure it would have showed better and been appreciated more.

I like Pax's other wines and even what he does at Wilde Farm Wines so I'm chalking up my disappointment to the vintage. I'll open a Sonoma Hillsides soon to reevaluate my position.
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#28 Post by J.Vizuete » October 8th, 2019, 1:41 pm

Where the carbonic thing really shines is in the valdigue. It is utterly pleasing.
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#29 Post by C Chen » October 8th, 2019, 2:10 pm

A. So wrote:
October 7th, 2019, 9:44 pm
John Glas wrote:
October 4th, 2019, 2:38 pm
You can get six of these for one Chave.
I'll take the Chave.
+1
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#30 Post by John Glas » October 8th, 2019, 2:15 pm

John Glas wrote: ↑
Fri Oct 04, 2019 6:38 pm
You can get six of these for one Chave.
I'll take the Chave.
Nice that you have that kind of disposable income. When I spend $200 plus for a wine it is rare.

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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#31 Post by Keith A k e r s » October 8th, 2019, 3:33 pm

John Glas wrote:
October 8th, 2019, 2:15 pm
John Glas wrote: ↑
Fri Oct 04, 2019 6:38 pm
You can get six of these for one Chave.
I'll take the Chave.
Nice that you have that kind of disposable income. When I spend $200 plus for a wine it is rare.

More that Adrian’s point is that Chave will give him the experience he wants rather than 6x the experience with the Sonoma Hillsides. For you, this wine does give you that experience and you can have it 5 more times

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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#32 Post by Mattstolz » October 8th, 2019, 5:22 pm

Keith A k e r s wrote:
October 8th, 2019, 1:31 pm


I'm not sure that I'd equate the old Pax to this though. I have actually quite enjoyed what the old fruit bombs have turned into, but (and I think we've talked about this) this is an entirely different beast and I wonder how well this can truly age with the amount of carbonic that goes into it.


I've had this twice now from a friend who bought a case off the list and it's still a bit grapey to me. I'm not sure what it'll turn into and I guess I'll find out as I know enough people that have this. But, I'm also glad that I don't have like 5 or 6 bottles that I'm praying that they hold up.
I agree. but from what I remember, old Wind Gap was his playground for the techniques that led to the style of wines he's making under the Pax label now, while the Pax label was being held to the fruit bomb style that it started as. not sure if that includes carbonic or not, but definitely the more acid-driven, lower abv part.

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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#33 Post by Keith A k e r s » October 8th, 2019, 7:21 pm

Mattstolz wrote:
October 8th, 2019, 5:22 pm
Keith A k e r s wrote:
October 8th, 2019, 1:31 pm


I'm not sure that I'd equate the old Pax to this though. I have actually quite enjoyed what the old fruit bombs have turned into, but (and I think we've talked about this) this is an entirely different beast and I wonder how well this can truly age with the amount of carbonic that goes into it.


I've had this twice now from a friend who bought a case off the list and it's still a bit grapey to me. I'm not sure what it'll turn into and I guess I'll find out as I know enough people that have this. But, I'm also glad that I don't have like 5 or 6 bottles that I'm praying that they hold up.
I agree. but from what I remember, old Wind Gap was his playground for the techniques that led to the style of wines he's making under the Pax label now, while the Pax label was being held to the fruit bomb style that it started as. not sure if that includes carbonic or not, but definitely the more acid-driven, lower abv part.


I could be wrong, but I think the carbonic/semi-carbonic style is something much newer as I don’t remember this being in much of the Wind Gap wines. The acidity and bright red fruits were definitely a hallmark of the newer direction since he started Wind Gap/Pax v2.0

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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#34 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » October 9th, 2019, 4:24 am

It showed up in a few later Wind Gap wines, but not to the degree he uses it at the new Pax.
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#35 Post by larry schaffer » October 9th, 2019, 10:10 am

Just to clarify, is this Syrah a 'carbonic' syrah or one that is made with 100% whole cluster? They do not mean the same thing at all - as I hope most on this board understand.

My guess is that it is not made in a carbonic style - though a handful of clusters may make it all the way through primary fermentation uncrushed, this would not indicate 'carbonic' or even 'partial carbonic'.

Pax has always played around with whole clusters - I remember visiting him back in 2004/5/6 and he was experimenting with various amounts with his syrahs back then.

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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#36 Post by Keith A k e r s » October 9th, 2019, 12:09 pm

larry schaffer wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 10:10 am
Just to clarify, is this Syrah a 'carbonic' syrah or one that is made with 100% whole cluster? They do not mean the same thing at all - as I hope most on this board understand.

My guess is that it is not made in a carbonic style - though a handful of clusters may make it all the way through primary fermentation uncrushed, this would not indicate 'carbonic' or even 'partial carbonic'.

Pax has always played around with whole clusters - I remember visiting him back in 2004/5/6 and he was experimenting with various amounts with his syrahs back then.

Cheers.


for me, i'm basing my thoughts/feelings on there possibly being some carbonic in the process as the wine tastes and smells like Carbonic has been involved. He may be using 100% whole cluster in it, but, I haven't gotten the kind of structure or textural feel on the palate that would make me think that. I could be entirely wrong on what he's done, but, the wine tastes very different from the whole cluster he was using in the Wind Gap line vs at least the Sonoma Hillside

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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#37 Post by Hank Victor » October 9th, 2019, 3:32 pm

The 2017 Hillsides is 100% whole cluster.

His 2018 Valdiguie is carbonic. His Trousseau Gri is also partly carbonic as well as his Gamay Noir(whole cluster and partial carbonic maceration)
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#38 Post by James Kennedy » October 9th, 2019, 7:39 pm

Hank Victor wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 3:32 pm
The 2017 Hillsides is 100% whole cluster.

His 2018 Valdiguie is carbonic. His Trousseau Gri is also partly carbonic as well as his Gamay Noir(whole cluster and partial carbonic maceration)
Looks like the ‘16 is both 100% whole cluster and 100% carbonic.
2016SonomaHillsidesTechSheet.pdf
(749.14 KiB) Downloaded 26 times
Can’t find info sheet on the ‘17. Edit: found it and no mention of carbonic
2017+Sonoma+Hillsides+Tech+Sheet.pdf
(748.4 KiB) Downloaded 21 times

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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#39 Post by Jorge B » October 9th, 2019, 7:56 pm

larry schaffer wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 10:10 am
Just to clarify, is this Syrah a 'carbonic' syrah or one that is made with 100% whole cluster? They do not mean the same thing at all - as I hope most on this board understand.

My guess is that it is not made in a carbonic style - though a handful of clusters may make it all the way through primary fermentation uncrushed, this would not indicate 'carbonic' or even 'partial carbonic'.

Pax has always played around with whole clusters - I remember visiting him back in 2004/5/6 and he was experimenting with various amounts with his syrahs back then.

Cheers.
I was under the impression this wine was 100% whole cluster, and 100% carbonically macerated. Are you saying that isn't possible? Or am I misunderstanding how carbonic works?
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#40 Post by James Kennedy » October 9th, 2019, 8:02 pm

I hope this isn’t mansplaining. Carbonic fermentation only brings you to about 2-3% alcohol and converts some of the acid, similar to malo, which raises ph (significantly, which is my biggest concern with ageability). Carbonic still needs to go through “traditional” fermentation after the carbonic stage.

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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#41 Post by c fu » October 9th, 2019, 10:05 pm

Hank Victor wrote:
October 8th, 2019, 1:04 pm
Had 1 bottle last December and it was really bad.... Sitting on 5 more and waiting for the right moment. Cellartracker scores are all over the place.
same. i really enjoyed the 16. The 17 on the otherhand...
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#42 Post by kyledorsey » October 10th, 2019, 8:50 am

I've experienced a lot of variation with these. I've had two bottles that were very tart and out of balance and two that were brilliant dead ringers for st Joseph. We'll set with a bit more time.

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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#43 Post by larry schaffer » October 10th, 2019, 10:19 am

Jorge B wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 7:56 pm
larry schaffer wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 10:10 am
Just to clarify, is this Syrah a 'carbonic' syrah or one that is made with 100% whole cluster? They do not mean the same thing at all - as I hope most on this board understand.

My guess is that it is not made in a carbonic style - though a handful of clusters may make it all the way through primary fermentation uncrushed, this would not indicate 'carbonic' or even 'partial carbonic'.

Pax has always played around with whole clusters - I remember visiting him back in 2004/5/6 and he was experimenting with various amounts with his syrahs back then.

Cheers.
I was under the impression this wine was 100% whole cluster, and 100% carbonically macerated. Are you saying that isn't possible? Or am I misunderstanding how carbonic works?
As was stated in another post, the 2016 was both 100% whole cluster and fermented using carbonic maceration. But just because a wine is fermented with 100% whole clusters does NOT mean that the wine is 'carbonic'. In a true carbonic maceration, whole clusters are put into a closed tank and CO2 is added to displace all oxygen, and then the clusters/grapes are basically left alone to ferment on their own for 2-4 weeks, depending upon the specific producer. At that point, the clusters are pressed and the remaining juice/wine (since it will not be completely fermented dry) is put into a tank usually to finish fermentation.

It is possible to do 100% whole cluster ferments that are not done in a carbonic manner. In this case, the grapes are usually foot stomped to break as many grapes as possible, and then fermentation takes place as usual - usually with punch downs but pumpers can be used with larger quantities. Oftentimes, and depending upon the variety, not all berries/clusters are crushed throughout the fermentation, and whole berries may be present at pressing. I would not consider this 'partial carbonic' because it just simply is not in the true sense of the word. And that's how all of my ferments are performed on all of my red varieties.

Hope that clears things up and doesn't confuse even more . . .

Cheers.
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#44 Post by joeduncan » October 10th, 2019, 11:17 am

Well, K&L has this for $35 so I bought a few. We'll see if that was stupid or not, seems like I'm rolling the dice a bit here!

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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#45 Post by J.Vizuete » October 10th, 2019, 2:02 pm

joeduncan wrote:
October 10th, 2019, 11:17 am
Well, K&L has this for $35 so I bought a few. We'll see if that was stupid or not, seems like I'm rolling the dice a bit here!
It's not stupid. For $35 (I think release was $44 or thereabout) you get to taste what is clearly a polarizing wine. I have showed it to several friends where it seems to evoke a love/hate response. I happen to love it (Pax's style) but I'm not long on its aging prospects. Would love to be wrong about that though, as mentioned upstream, there appears to be a good amount in folks' cellars. I'm definitely a buyer in 18
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#46 Post by Todd Laubach » October 11th, 2019, 6:42 am

If this wine tastes anything like his Wind Gap product, this is an easy pass. Those wines by far were not very good and I would say some of them were borderline undrinkable.

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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#47 Post by Justin S » October 12th, 2019, 9:35 pm

Had this with three cups chicken (a Taiwanese dish) tonight. Surprisingly good pairing.

There is an astringency to this wine that worried me upon opening and never completely went away. Maybe that’s the acid people talk about. It didn’t go away entirely but certainly, the wine did improve with a few hours of air. I needed to spend time with this wine instead of taking a few sips before moving on. This needs to be served on the cool side, 55-60 degree. As the bottle warmed I had to stick it back in the fridge. I found this ‘17 more interesting than the ‘16 somehow, though the ‘16 is more integrated. My last bottle will be opened in 2-3 years. It will be interesting to see if this wine improves at all or gets worse, but the fact that it settled down some on day 2 is promising.

Crazy amount of sediment stuck to the bottle, which has been stored on its side since release. I would recommend standing this up for a bit before opening.
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#48 Post by Wes Barton » October 24th, 2019, 3:52 pm

We had the '16 and '17 at a Berserker dinner Monday. The '16 has faded notably from a year ago, but is still drinking very very well. Something was very wrong with the '17. Certainly a degree of VA, but not at the level anyone called it out that I heard. I'm thinking some other lactic acid bacteria faults along with it. At least one person still liked it, while most couldn't stand it. (Everyone loved the '16.)

Sure does sound like bottle variation, so it'd be in bottle activity. Aside from handling/provenance issues, it could be something like the pre-bottling SO2 add didn't mix in evenly. (That happened to someone I know who changed products without knowing the need to alter the process. Much just settled to the bottom of the tank. Oops. Bottle variation.)
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#49 Post by Justin S » October 24th, 2019, 5:15 pm

Wes Barton wrote:
October 24th, 2019, 3:52 pm
Certainly a degree of VA, but not at the level anyone called it out that I heard. I'm thinking some other lactic acid bacteria faults along with it.
The high-level description of the '17 seems pretty consistent from post to post, but how bothersome that acid is seems to vary. Just to complete the picture on my post above, three cups chicken is made in soy sauce and I would describe the acidity to be similarly sour. Probably why I didn't mind the '17 with that dish. Is that VA?
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#50 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » October 24th, 2019, 5:27 pm

Justin S wrote:
October 24th, 2019, 5:15 pm
Wes Barton wrote:
October 24th, 2019, 3:52 pm
Certainly a degree of VA, but not at the level anyone called it out that I heard. I'm thinking some other lactic acid bacteria faults along with it.
The high-level description of the '17 seems pretty consistent from post to post, but how bothersome that acid is seems to vary. Just to complete the picture on my post above, three cups chicken is made in soy sauce and I would describe the acidity to be similarly sour. Probably why I didn't mind the '17 with that dish. Is that VA?
Not unless your three cup chicken smelled like nail polish remover.
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