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

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

#51 Post by Alan Rath » October 24th, 2019, 5:37 pm

Hank Victor wrote:
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.
I just had the 17, and 16 along side at dinner the other night. I could see where someone who loved "old" Pax would find this Pax 2.0 ... different. I liked the 17, thought it was quite good, but the 16 is exceptional. It's like the best St Joseph you will ever have. And for the record, "new" Pax is exactly what Syrah is supposed to taste like.
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#52 Post by Wes Barton » October 24th, 2019, 5:38 pm

Ours didn't show nail polish remover, which is ethyl acetate. VA is a broad term, but I specifically got some acetic acid (vinegar), plus sort of a soup of murky almost rancid blech. Presumably from what one might call "bacterial issues".
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#53 Post by Alan Rath » October 24th, 2019, 5:40 pm

Wes Barton wrote:
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.)
That one person was me ;) But I tried it late in the evening, I wonder if it had aired out a bit by then. Anyway, I did like the 16 better, but thought the 17 was fine, and enjoyable enough.
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#54 Post by robert creth » October 24th, 2019, 8:59 pm

Not to be that guy, but I believe we were drinking the 2006 and 7 not 16 and 17.

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

#55 Post by Alan Rath » October 24th, 2019, 9:51 pm

Robert, they were definitely 16 and 17. Pax didn’t make a wine with that name or label in 06 or 07.
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#56 Post by Sean_S » October 24th, 2019, 10:08 pm

Wes Barton wrote:
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.)
I agree with Wes' comments. The provenance should be fine on '17. I bought at Winex in OC on release and carried home myself. I still have 2 16's and 2 17's left. Hopefully the next `17 shows better. The nose was good but the acidity was way out of balance and the mid palate just seemed rotten to me. It was better on day 3 but 80 points would be generous.

The `16 and the `97 Qupe were both excellent.
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#57 Post by Sean_S » October 24th, 2019, 10:13 pm

Alan Rath wrote:
October 24th, 2019, 5:40 pm
Wes Barton wrote:
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.)
That one person was me ;) But I tried it late in the evening, I wonder if it had aired out a bit by then. Anyway, I did like the 16 better, but thought the 17 was fine, and enjoyable enough.
It certainly improved on Day 3. I finished the bottle last night it was rounder and less astringent but something still off in my book. I'm glad at least someone enjoyed it.


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

#58 Post by robert creth » October 25th, 2019, 12:16 pm

Alan Rath wrote:
October 24th, 2019, 9:51 pm
Robert, they were definitely 16 and 17. Pax didn’t make a wine with that name or label in 06 or 07.
Yeah I looked at my pictures and confirmed. Tried to edit that post but was unable.

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

#59 Post by Doug Schulman » October 25th, 2019, 12:50 pm

I tried this wine again recently. This time, a few of us did find subtle VA, not enough to ruin the wine, but enough to comment on. That's a little troubling. I also noticed that it was sealed with a synthetic stopper, so I will not be buying any to lay down.
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#60 Post by Hank Victor » October 25th, 2019, 12:56 pm

Doug Schulman wrote:
October 25th, 2019, 12:50 pm
I tried this wine again recently. This time, a few of us did find subtle VA, not enough to ruin the wine, but enough to comment on. That's a little troubling. I also noticed that it was sealed with a synthetic stopper, so I will not be buying any to lay down.
He uses Nomacorc closures for the Hillsides as well as the The Hermit in the past. I am not sure if he uses the Nomacorc closures for all his wines now.
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#61 Post by Ian Alper » October 25th, 2019, 1:24 pm

I brought the 16 to that dinner and agree with others that the 17 was not very enjoyable. I thought the 16 was nice but not as exceptional as earlier bottles had been.

Also agree with I think Wes who said the 16 tasted better a year ago (though I might be misquoting him on that).

Opened my first two bottles about a year ago and both were really fun. So balanced, complex, but in a very subtle way, and enjoyable. Wondering where they are going. Will have to wait and see.

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

#62 Post by Wes Barton » October 25th, 2019, 3:32 pm

*and it's normal that the stuff that made the '16 amazing last year should be fading. It also has the stuff to age well, so I expect it will. Good info going forward. Buy a bunch, drink some young and let the rest sit.
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#63 Post by Ian Alper » October 25th, 2019, 5:36 pm

Thanks for the advice Wes.

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

#64 Post by John Glas » October 25th, 2019, 5:40 pm

Wish I would have gotten the 16s on release pricing!

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

#65 Post by brianmcbrearty » October 26th, 2019, 9:29 am

So, let's say I haven't opened one yet. Advise.

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

#66 Post by Alan Rath » October 26th, 2019, 10:33 am

Try one and see if you have a yak palate like mine, and like the wine, or if you think it's off ;) I'd give it some air, at least a couple hours.
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#67 Post by Michael Manix » October 26th, 2019, 2:13 pm

This thread inspired to pop and pour just now. Bought two bottles from K&L upon release so now storage issues. Into the decanter. Plenty of fine sediment.

No nail polish remover, dill, or vinegar on the nose. Intense aromatics with cured meats and fists full of lavender. Not unique but more intense than a typical NoCa Syrah. Appears to be a proper bottle.

First sip was a bit rustic and red fruited. Will give this some time in the decanter and report back. Expecting some friends for dinner and will follow this over a few hours.

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

#68 Post by Michael Manix » October 28th, 2019, 11:59 am

Michael Manix wrote:
October 26th, 2019, 2:13 pm
This thread inspired to pop and pour just now. Bought two bottles from K&L upon release so now storage issues. Into the decanter. Plenty of fine sediment.

No nail polish remover, dill, or vinegar on the nose. Intense aromatics with cured meats and fists full of lavender. Not unique but more intense than a typical NoCa Syrah. Appears to be a proper bottle.

First sip was a bit rustic and red fruited. Will give this some time in the decanter and report back. Expecting some friends for dinner and will follow this over a few hours.
I didn’t get any time to sit and contemplate but I can confirm this bottle was correct from a varietal point of view. And a good drink. Look forward to my second bottle.

The different experiences with this wine are interesting. Reminds me of the 2004 Siro Pacenti Brunello which was a tale of two wines. Most of the bottles were outstanding while a significant batch (including my batch) were flawed and undrinkable with a pronounced flaw.

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

#69 Post by larry schaffer » October 28th, 2019, 5:32 pm

My guess is that there's only one bottling of this wine. Where would the massive bottle variation come from? The real question is whether it is variation or perception? Anyone care to Venture a guess on that?
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#70 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » October 28th, 2019, 7:28 pm

I bet it’s perception. The other possibility is that the very low sulfur has led to divergence over time. I need to open a bottle from the glacial cellar.
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#71 Post by Hank Victor » October 29th, 2019, 5:51 pm

Just opened a bottle for the first time since last December. Showing WAY better. Tart but considerably less. Feels heavier. Floral and bright fruit. Going to follow the bottle over the next two days.
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#72 Post by Mattstolz » October 29th, 2019, 6:00 pm

larry schaffer wrote:
October 28th, 2019, 5:32 pm
My guess is that there's only one bottling of this wine. Where would the massive bottle variation come from? The real question is whether it is variation or perception? Anyone care to Venture a guess on that?
Ive been thinking its just a polarizing wine.

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

#73 Post by John Glas » October 29th, 2019, 7:37 pm

Think I will pop one this weekend and do a five day review!

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

#74 Post by Sean_S » October 29th, 2019, 9:53 pm

Mattstolz wrote:
October 29th, 2019, 6:00 pm
larry schaffer wrote:
October 28th, 2019, 5:32 pm
My guess is that there's only one bottling of this wine. Where would the massive bottle variation come from? The real question is whether it is variation or perception? Anyone care to Venture a guess on that?
Ive been thinking its just a polarizing wine.
Its polarizing all right. It didn't line up with any of my other Pax, Windgap or Wild Farm Syrahs. I really hope the next two are better.
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#75 Post by Wes Barton » October 30th, 2019, 9:11 pm

Mattstolz wrote:
October 29th, 2019, 6:00 pm
larry schaffer wrote:
October 28th, 2019, 5:32 pm
My guess is that there's only one bottling of this wine. Where would the massive bottle variation come from? The real question is whether it is variation or perception? Anyone care to Venture a guess on that?
Ive been thinking its just a polarizing wine.
Nope. The '16 and '17 are the same style. Some people have had both good and bad bottles of the '17. The '17 we had was definitely flawed. We just don't know why there's variation (but are aware of multiple possibilities).
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#76 Post by larry schaffer » October 31st, 2019, 8:34 am

Wes,

According to their website, the two wines were made in different methods. I think somebody alluded to this up above.
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#77 Post by Wes Barton » October 31st, 2019, 12:45 pm

larry schaffer wrote:
October 31st, 2019, 8:34 am
Wes,

According to their website, the two wines were made in different methods. I think somebody alluded to this up above.
Link? What someone posted above was the specs for the '16 and that none were available for the '17. All I can go by is tasting the '16 once a year ago and again last week, and tasting a flawed bottle of the '17 last week. Looking past the moderate-low level of flaws of that bottle isn't difficult, as they are off-putting, but not the dominant characteristics. One of the 13 of us wasn't bothered by the flaws. The ripeness level, stem inclusion and general expression of the two wines lined up. They are stylistically the same, as far as I can tell, considering the flaws.
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#78 Post by Hank Victor » October 31st, 2019, 3:44 pm

For those interested the 2017 Pax Armagh was released today.

2017 Pax Syrah, Armagh Vineyard, Sonoma Coast

The Armagh Vineyard is planted on a south-westerly facing slope in Chileno Valley, west of the
town of Petaluma in one of the coldest sections of the Petaluma Wind Gap. This tiny block of
vines produces a wildly sauvage filled wine. We chose just three 500L Puncheons from the 2017
harvest to represent our first Vineyard-Designated Syrah from this site for the Pax Wines label
and the only Vineyard-Designated Syrah that we bottled from the entire 2017 vintage.
This limited production wine speaks of its extreme growing conditions. Naturally low in alcohol
from the cold nights and cool windy days and naturally concentrated from the tiny berries and
meticulous farming, this is an excellent example of a cold climate Syrah from the warm 2017
growing season.

100% Whole-Cluster
10 months in neutral French Oak Puncheons
3.67 pH
12.7 % alc by Vol
97 Cases Bottled

Tasting Note:
Wild aromas of iodine, tar, currants, leather and bittersweet chocolate reveal themselves from
the opaque surface of this black wine. Nervy and fresh on entry with a concentration of fruit
and tertiary flavors that scream Syrah. More nimble and light than it first seems, the zesty
savory earth driven character melds with the ripe black and red fruits perfectly. The finish
brings along some dusty tannins and savory olive notes, with a firm finish of spice and tar.
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#79 Post by larry schaffer » October 31st, 2019, 5:54 pm

Wes Barton wrote:
October 31st, 2019, 12:45 pm
larry schaffer wrote:
October 31st, 2019, 8:34 am
Wes,

According to their website, the two wines were made in different methods. I think somebody alluded to this up above.
Link? What someone posted above was the specs for the '16 and that none were available for the '17. All I can go by is tasting the '16 once a year ago and again last week, and tasting a flawed bottle of the '17 last week. Looking past the moderate-low level of flaws of that bottle isn't difficult, as they are off-putting, but not the dominant characteristics. One of the 13 of us wasn't bothered by the flaws. The ripeness level, stem inclusion and general expression of the two wines lined up. They are stylistically the same, as far as I can tell, considering the flaws.
I am pretty sure that both wines were made 100% whole cluster, but that the 2016 was made using Carbonic maceration whereas the 2017 was not stated as such. This will lead to two very different wines indeed.

As far as your group goes, did one person start mentioning the flaws of than everyone else started to agree? That tends to happen with lots of groups.

Still trying to figure out of there are actual 'faults' with the wine or are we dealing with 'bottle variation' or palate preference?

Bottom line - the 17 is not identical to the 16 . . .

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

#80 Post by Alan Rath » October 31st, 2019, 7:59 pm

larry schaffer wrote:
October 31st, 2019, 5:54 pm
As far as your group goes, did one person start mentioning the flaws of than everyone else started to agree? That tends to happen with lots of groups.
That was me. IMO (obviously) there was nothing wrong with the 17, I detected no flaws*. I did try it at the very end of the evening, so it had been exposed to more air for me than it probably had for the rest of the group. It was different from the 16, but I attributed that to vintage differences. And now that you say the winemaking was different as well, that would make sense.

I’m just finishing up another young Syrah from a producer new to me, opened initially two nights ago. It has been different each night, and is noticeably at its best tonight. I don’t think it’s fair to judge that 17 bottle after just a couple of hours being open.

* Edited to add that just because I couldn't detect any flaws, doesn't mean someone more sensitive didn't.
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#81 Post by Wes Barton » November 1st, 2019, 1:35 am

larry schaffer wrote:
October 31st, 2019, 5:54 pm
I am pretty sure that both wines were made 100% whole cluster, but that the 2016 was made using Carbonic maceration whereas the 2017 was not stated as such. This will lead to two very different wines indeed.
That's your conclusion, which is speculation.

The '16 did not show carbonic character last year and more than you would expect from a 100% whole cluster cool climate baby Syrah.
As far as your group goes, did one person start mentioning the flaws of than everyone else started to agree? That tends to happen with lots of groups.
Informal dinner, so word got ahead of the wine for many people. But, we aren't lemmings and there's no alpha-jerks shutting people down or telling them they're wrong, casting doubt. We have no problem disagreeing with each other, having our own opinions.
Still trying to figure out of there are actual 'faults' with the wine or are we dealing with 'bottle variation' or palate preference?
A lot of people have had bad bottles, and a lot were much worse than ours. The issue is LAB faults. People have posted having both sound and flawed bottles of the wine.
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#82 Post by Michael Manix » November 1st, 2019, 5:49 am

Wes Barton wrote:
November 1st, 2019, 1:35 am
larry schaffer wrote:
October 31st, 2019, 5:54 pm
I am pretty sure that both wines were made 100% whole cluster, but that the 2016 was made using Carbonic maceration whereas the 2017 was not stated as such. This will lead to two very different wines indeed.
That's your conclusion, which is speculation.

The '16 did not show carbonic character last year and more than you would expect from a 100% whole cluster cool climate baby Syrah.
As far as your group goes, did one person start mentioning the flaws of than everyone else started to agree? That tends to happen with lots of groups.
Informal dinner, so word got ahead of the wine for many people. But, we aren't lemmings and there's no alpha-jerks shutting people down or telling them they're wrong, casting doubt. We have no problem disagreeing with each other, having our own opinions.
Still trying to figure out of there are actual 'faults' with the wine or are we dealing with 'bottle variation' or palate preference?
A lot of people have had bad bottles, and a lot were much worse than ours. The issue is LAB faults. People have posted having both sound and flawed bottles of the wine.
Does storage temps impact LAB? Could the bacteria 'bloom' and spoil the wine if exposed or stored at room temps? I'm asking because my bottle was P&P straight from the cellar. And then stored in the fridge overnite for night two's tasting. The bottle was bought on release and stored cold. Probably never saw room temps at all.

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

#83 Post by larry schaffer » November 2nd, 2019, 7:48 am

Wes,

Thanks for the reply - and my comment about 'power of suggestion' was not meant as an insult at all. I've seen this happen with very experienced drinkers as well.

If you look back at the tech notes, the 16 clearly stated carbonic whereas the 17 did not - perhaps I am 'assuming' something here, but if he had done carbonic, I would think he would have stated it (unless it was an oversight on his part).

As far as LAB goes, did you send out for lab results? I understand that there were plenty of experienced drinkers there, but calling out LAB might be tough to corroborate. Could this lead to variable VA issues? Certainly - as could the sans soufre methodology in general unfortunately.

And Michael, if it is LAB issues, storage temperature (and shipping temperatures) can and will affect how this will show over time. Storing at cooler temperatures should keep these more at bay, but unfortunately you don't know what the wines were exposed to prior to you receiving them.

Perhaps someone who has access to lab stuff should send a few bottles off to plate - might be interesting to see if that is at play here.

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

#84 Post by larry schaffer » November 2nd, 2019, 7:57 am

And Alan,

Your comment about this is how syrah 'should taste like' is certainly an interesting one - and one that some will agree with and others will not for sure.

Also, as you've stated a few times, this is still a very young wine - and assessing it upon opening without giving it a few hours or air may lead to impressions that will prove 'quite different' over time. You are correct in that patience would be required with a wine like this - and day 2/3 impressions as well at this stage.

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

#85 Post by Alan Rath » November 2nd, 2019, 9:18 am

Larry, to be clear, that statement was about the 16, not 17. 17 was fine, 16 was amazingly good. It’s not for the SQN crowd, but I stand by the statement :)
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#86 Post by Mattstolz » November 2nd, 2019, 9:53 am

larry schaffer wrote:
November 2nd, 2019, 7:48 am
Wes,

Thanks for the reply - and my comment about 'power of suggestion' was not meant as an insult at all. I've seen this happen with very experienced drinkers as well.

If you look back at the tech notes, the 16 clearly stated carbonic whereas the 17 did not - perhaps I am 'assuming' something here, but if he had done carbonic, I would think he would have stated it (unless it was an oversight on his part).

As far as LAB goes, did you send out for lab results? I understand that there were plenty of experienced drinkers there, but calling out LAB might be tough to corroborate. Could this lead to variable VA issues? Certainly - as could the sans soufre methodology in general unfortunately.

And Michael, if it is LAB issues, storage temperature (and shipping temperatures) can and will affect how this will show over time. Storing at cooler temperatures should keep these more at bay, but unfortunately you don't know what the wines were exposed to prior to you receiving them.

Perhaps someone who has access to lab stuff should send a few bottles off to plate - might be interesting to see if that is at play here.

Cheers.
i just wanna make sure im on the same page here... LAB= lactic acid bacteria vs lab=laboratory?

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

#87 Post by larry schaffer » November 2nd, 2019, 10:10 am

The former, my friend . . .
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#88 Post by Mattstolz » November 2nd, 2019, 10:36 am

larry schaffer wrote:
November 2nd, 2019, 10:10 am
The former, my friend . . .
ok that was my thinking but the posts are all mentioning LAB and labs! haha

so LAB would be the bacteria responsible for VA in many cases correct?

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

#89 Post by larry schaffer » November 2nd, 2019, 12:42 pm

Matt,

Bacteria is responsible for the creation of VA, but no usually LAB. LAB can certainly cause it, but the main reason VA occurs is due to oxidation over time in a wine - usually due to higher pHs, not topping on a regular basis, or not enough SO2 usage.

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

#90 Post by Wes Barton » November 2nd, 2019, 10:33 pm

Looking at the other thread from last December, people describe both wines as being "grapey" early on. My first tastings of those wines 9-11 months after those point didn't show grapey, whether that meant primary, carbonic or both.

Some peoples' early notes show something wrong, but hard to describe. Easy to understand when a wine is bursting in primary character.

Some people noted high VA early on and recently. At least one had faded color and quite murky.

The level of VA on our bottle was not the problem. Noticeable, but not bothersome to me. The low level murky/rotty/rancid characteristics are what were off-putting. It seemed like multiple bacterial products in the mix. It's those notes that lead me to suspect the VA was also the product of bacterial issues.
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#91 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » November 3rd, 2019, 8:51 am

Bottle of 2017 now standing up in the cellar to open this week.
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#92 Post by larry schaffer » November 3rd, 2019, 9:13 am

Wes Barton wrote:
November 2nd, 2019, 10:33 pm
Looking at the other thread from last December, people describe both wines as being "grapey" early on. My first tastings of those wines 9-11 months after those point didn't show grapey, whether that meant primary, carbonic or both.

Some peoples' early notes show something wrong, but hard to describe. Easy to understand when a wine is bursting in primary character.

Some people noted high VA early on and recently. At least one had faded color and quite murky.

The level of VA on our bottle was not the problem. Noticeable, but not bothersome to me. The low level murky/rotty/rancid characteristics are what were off-putting. It seemed like multiple bacterial products in the mix. It's those notes that lead me to suspect the VA was also the product of bacterial issues.
Wes,

Great explanation, my friend - and I can see where you are coming from. Hard to know that others had the same experience as yours, but possibly. I'm pretty sure that this is sans soufre, correct? That can certainly lead to 'bottle variation'. The fact that the wine was 'grapey' early on certainly makes sense - it's still so very young.

A really interesting situation here - and can't wait to read more from you and others as this wine ages . . .

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

#93 Post by larry schaffer » November 3rd, 2019, 9:27 am

Order placed with K and L - will try to open one myself over the next few weeks and share with others - and report back.

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

#94 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » November 3rd, 2019, 1:51 pm

Just opened a bottle from my 53 degree cellar. The wine was shipped to me in cold weather, and has been in the cellar since I received it.

Deep red/purple color. Aromatics are road tar, dark berry and herb. Some floral tones come through on the palate, likely from the whole cluster. There’s a hint of orange zest on the finish. I don’t detect much of any carbonic character (unlike how grapey this was on release). It is a fairly high acid wine, but not at all volatile. I can easily see why even this pristine bottle would bother some folks. It’s showing a lot of acid. I personally like it.
A6A47835-EFE7-4569-B7FD-34ABD22F70BA.jpeg
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#95 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » November 3rd, 2019, 1:52 pm

Not going to sweat the sideways photo.
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#96 Post by Mattstolz » November 3rd, 2019, 6:58 pm

larry schaffer wrote:
November 2nd, 2019, 12:42 pm
Matt,

Bacteria is responsible for the creation of VA, but no usually LAB. LAB can certainly cause it, but the main reason VA occurs is due to oxidation over time in a wine - usually due to higher pHs, not topping on a regular basis, or not enough SO2 usage.

Cheers!
thanks for the explanation.

I'm also interested to follow more reports on this wine over time. I'm hoping time improves it. I could see what I felt was too much acid could be perfect for some people. I think thats a fine line to walk. I hope its not that these are just a crap shoot every time they're opened!

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

#97 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » November 4th, 2019, 2:34 pm

Day 2, and the 2017 Hillsides is holding firm. The acidity is a bit more integrated, but overall it's pretty similar to day 1.
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#98 Post by Wes Barton » November 4th, 2019, 4:01 pm

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
November 4th, 2019, 2:34 pm
Day 2, and the 2017 Hillsides is holding firm. The acidity is a bit more integrated, but overall it's pretty similar to day 1.
Thanks for your TN. Sounds like your bottle is in line with what the critic who gave that the same massive rating as the '16 got. That's sort of my contention. That sound bottles of the '17 should be very similar to the '16, not "stylistically different". With the less sound bottles, it comes down to individual preferences and sensitivities, as well as how much activity occurred in the particular bottle. That for this producer, the issues with this particular wine are an anomaly (as well as being noted Dec. of '18 or earlier), so I wouldn't expect an issue with the '18 vintage.
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Re: TN: 2017 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

#99 Post by Ian Alper » November 7th, 2019, 8:14 am

"That sound bottles of the '17 should be very similar to the '16, not "stylistically different" Wes - per post #38 it appears that '16 was carbonic and '17 was not. Perhaps I missed something but wouldn't this be stylistically different if this is the case?

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

#100 Post by larry schaffer » November 7th, 2019, 8:35 am

Ian Alper wrote:
November 7th, 2019, 8:14 am
"That sound bottles of the '17 should be very similar to the '16, not "stylistically different" Wes - per post #38 it appears that '16 was carbonic and '17 was not. Perhaps I missed something but wouldn't this be stylistically different if this is the case?
Ian,

Thank you for bringing this up. This is something I've mentioned numerous times above but seems to have not been brought into the discussion.

The way that the tasting notes on the wineries website I written, it appears that the style is difference between the two vintages. Without corroboration from the winery, is impossible to know if this is actually the case or if there was a typo somewhere.

My assumption is that the notes are correct and that there should be a stylistic difference between the two wines. I will be picking up a few bottles this weekend and look forward to opening at least one next week. I have not had the 2016 it will therefore not have anything to compare it to. Perhaps that's better?

Cheers
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