which syrahs are retirement worthy?

Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
Post Reply
Message
Author
markjchambers
Posts: 47
Joined: April 19th, 2019, 6:55 am

which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#1 Post by markjchambers » May 17th, 2019, 3:56 pm

I have long been a new world syrah lover and over the years I have managed to get on what I consider to be the primo lists. But retirement is upon me and I really can't afford to buy all of the wine I'm being offered. I should cut back by about half. So who stays and who goes?

Alban - my first great syrah experience. Love him and love the wines. My first Reva was a 1998 purchased for $38. Now Reva is ~$100. Seymour's and Lorraine are ~$160. That much better than Reva? But really, Patrina is pretty good - half the price of Reva and not hard to find.

Cayuse - at least they don't over load you with wine. For the longest time I only got 3 bottles a year. Now I'm up to 6, but the second 3-pack was God Only Knows - not what I was looking for. I was thinking about dropping, then they granted me the Frog. Still, just 9 bottles a year. And at a reasonable cost. I did opt not to go for Horsepower or Hors Categorie because of the higher cost, but I wonder if these are now Christoph's true love.

Saxum - found them at Hospice du Rhone in 2006. So I got the great 2007 vintage. They have held their price at ~$100 for a long time, but not many vintages have been as good as the 2007s. Two and half cases a year is ~$3000.

SQN - I waited a long time to get on the list and I have sucked up everything I could since. The prices haven't gone up that much, especially when you compare them Napa cabs (is that valid?), but I get offered a lot and I feel like I have to take it all. Unlike Cayuse, I went for every secondary offering. I couldn't get Chimere, but I did finally get Next of Kyn and snagged some Third Twin. The total yearly tab just for the SQN family is approaching $10K.

One solution is to just buy less, but I think it is likely that most of these places will drop me if I don't take my full allocation. I share my allocations when I can find a friend who is interested. I could flip some, but I really don't want to buy wine for that purpose and few of these are really flippable, By the time you pay the auction fees, most are break even or worse.

robert creth
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 631
Joined: December 26th, 2012, 7:36 am
Location: San Jose

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#2 Post by robert creth » May 17th, 2019, 5:43 pm

Re SQN? Do you drink them? Do you enjoy them? Are you getting value for money? These are the questions I ask myself when buying from lists. If you have been a regular customer and want to adjust your order, I cannot imagine they wouldn’t accommodate you. I ask about SQN because you wrote about tasting the others, but the questions apply.

User avatar
Robert.A.Jr.
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 20454
Joined: January 28th, 2010, 5:03 am
Location: Orlando, Florida

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#3 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » May 17th, 2019, 5:49 pm

Do you buy any syrah for regular drinking with your weekly meals? You are buying super-premiums - not my style at all, but super premiums nonetheless - when there is a whole mess of really solid syrah for so much less. Perhaps slow a little on the premium and use some leftover money for the drinkers. I love my daily drinkers. Now that said, my Gonon tonight is not a daily drinker, it is the premium stuff that reminds me how great syrah can get.

"@lf3rt was clearly raised in an outhouse in the Loire. . . ."

Kenny H (circa 2015)

User avatar
Sc0tt F!tzger@ld
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2958
Joined: March 12th, 2013, 7:32 am

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#4 Post by Sc0tt F!tzger@ld » May 17th, 2019, 6:02 pm

Mark, to echo Counselor @lf3rt's post, there's a TON of recent vintage Rhones which are fantastic, are age worthy, and considerably less expensive.

User avatar
NoahR
Posts: 2385
Joined: December 1st, 2013, 1:07 pm

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#5 Post by NoahR » May 17th, 2019, 6:03 pm

Sell it all and buy Northern Rhône while you still can!

Honestly, I’m with Alfert on this. If you are buying to sell later then maybe these wines will hold their price. A lot of people find SQN to be undrinkably gloppy and these wines are the absolute opposite of what I find I like. But Myriad and Bedrock both make beautiful Syrahs that hit somewhere between the premium purp and the more elegant Rhône style, and Halcon does too, and those wines are half the price of Cayuse or Reva. There is so much good Syrah for so much less...
Noah Raizman
Washington, DC

User avatar
Robert.A.Jr.
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 20454
Joined: January 28th, 2010, 5:03 am
Location: Orlando, Florida

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#6 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » May 17th, 2019, 6:08 pm

Halcon is a great reco, Noah!

Falls somewhere in the middle of Cali and France. I’m a fan.

"@lf3rt was clearly raised in an outhouse in the Loire. . . ."

Kenny H (circa 2015)

User avatar
R. Gaston
Posts: 632
Joined: August 1st, 2009, 10:36 pm
Location: Ojai

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#7 Post by R. Gaston » May 17th, 2019, 7:13 pm

I would drop Saxum and Alban. The Patrina is fine and easily available. Both wineries are easy to find at attractive prices on the auction block. Like others said, there are a sea of great Syrah at half the price.
Ryan

User avatar
Robert M yers
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 2119
Joined: March 10th, 2010, 8:24 pm
Location: Cleveland

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#8 Post by Robert M yers » May 17th, 2019, 9:10 pm

I was in this same place of needing to cull lists and also entertain my expanding palate around 6-7 years ago. I was on all the same lists (and more Bedrock/Carlisle ect) and I’ve only maintained SQN and Cayuse which are the singular wines to me for this continents Rhône.

I had been on Saxum since 03 and decided I had (and still have) way too many bottles. Ordered every other release for a couple years and they dropped me without a peep, which was a blessing in retrospect to have them cut me off. Also made me value operations where I feel appreciated or a bit more connected.

Start thinning the herd, it’s hard at first as you feel like your going to miss something, but in reality there’s a world of good wine out there. Too much to ever try all you want really. I would start by opening up one of the N Rhône threads and look for some of the wines where folks say this wine was polished, has new oak ect and start trying those. While they won’t be quite as much of either as CA Rhône they have plenty of fruit to carry them. You can get old world Syrah, with a new world bent that’s very much in your wheelhouse for $30-60. Think V. Paris and many others, 2015’s and 16’s would be a perfect place to start exploring.

No reason to be on Alban either, they are out there to buy if you want your fix. You’ve got to keep Bionic Frog of course, but I think Cayuse are singular wines for US Rhône’s. You can drop God Only Knows and keep BF...I did. Good Luck with the process.

markjchambers
Posts: 47
Joined: April 19th, 2019, 6:55 am

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#9 Post by markjchambers » May 18th, 2019, 6:25 am

Thanks for the replies. I can't believe that I just found out about this board.
First, Robert… You're saying that Cayuse will let me keep buying BF and Cailloux (my original get) and not take GOK? That would be great. I just assumed that GOK was the price I had to pay. It's not bad wine, just not that interesting compared to their syrahs.
Second… I am in the woods as far as northern Rhones go. I love CdP and I have a few salted away, but most are at least as expensive as what I'm buying now. I'm familiar with the famous Cote Rotes and Hermitages (Chave, La Chappelle, etc.), but the value sweet spot ($30-$60) is a mystery. I just assumed that it didn't exist.
Third… SQN is almost not wine. The whole thing is like a work of art, especially when you think every bottling is one and done. I do like being able bring them to a dinner and wow the crowd. I don't think I've ever opened one just for myself. I do think that NOK is more often same and I don't need to double up.
Fourth… The closest thingI have to everyday syrah is Carlisle. And I already mentioned Alban Patrina. I know there are others in that value range. I have visited Paso Robles several times, but it seems like every place I like is as expensive as Saxum or getting there. Booker, Clos Selene, Law Estate, Epoch all make good wine, but none is value.

The gist of it is that there a ton of good wines at $80-$100, but that's not every day wine and certainly not retirement wine. I will look for Bedrock.

User avatar
Kris Patten
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 4139
Joined: February 1st, 2009, 6:25 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#10 Post by Kris Patten » May 18th, 2019, 7:03 am

Mark,

Buy a bottle of Vincent Paris 2016 Granit 30 and start there. Had a couple over that past weeks, and for $30, while different that SQN or Alban it delivers just as much pleasure albeit in a different way. Then for WA test drive some K Vintners Syrahs, both Milbrandt and Motor City Kitty are $25.

I dropped Alban years ago and I only buy 1 or 2 bottles of Saxum per year, can't seem to get away from SQN, wines are too unique.
ITB

User avatar
John S
Posts: 686
Joined: May 29th, 2009, 11:45 am
Location: Chapel Hill, NC

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#11 Post by John S » May 18th, 2019, 7:13 am

I'd really try to work backwards from what you really want to drink in the future. Like how many of each producers do you drink or expect to in a year. do the math on current purchases. My guess if you are like me and many others you are still accumulating which is not really the end goal. I am reducing my cellar as I expect to move XC and really have too much. So I've been thinking long and hard about how many of X producers wine do I drink per year and realistically want for the future. How many great wines versus wines I do not think twice about drinking. It has ended up being an interesting mental exercise and I think I have finally made great progress on reducing the cellar size yet ensuring I have the wines that are special. Special can be a $20 Faurie Hermitage I bought in Ampuis or Chave. I'm finding I can dramatically reduce the number of producers I own and quantity by working from backwards from my forever cellar goals. I also had to resist my early temptation to primarily keep the cream of the crop as I do not drink those regularly.
John Sprow

Nate Simon
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2269
Joined: September 17th, 2009, 8:41 pm

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#12 Post by Nate Simon » May 18th, 2019, 7:25 am

Why do you care if any of these wineries “drop you?” They’re not your friends...they just sell you wine. If they drop you from the list, it’s not a measure of your worthiness as a wine lover or a person. Let that shit go. Buy and drink what you like.

User avatar
Scott G r u n e r
Posts: 3301
Joined: June 6th, 2009, 9:03 pm
Location: Seattleish

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#13 Post by Scott G r u n e r » May 18th, 2019, 7:33 am

markjchambers wrote:
May 18th, 2019, 6:25 am

First, Robert… You're saying that Cayuse will let me keep buying BF and Cailloux (my original get) and not take GOK? That would be great. I just assumed that GOK was the price I had to pay. It's not bad wine, just not that interesting compared to their syrahs.
I am not Robert, but yes. I know from personal experience. I cannot say how it may impact other desired wishlist adds in the future, but each three pack is treated as a separate allocation. Not buying GOK will mean you will not be offered GOK next year but will not impact the Frog etc.
//Cynic

User avatar
Robert.A.Jr.
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 20454
Joined: January 28th, 2010, 5:03 am
Location: Orlando, Florida

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#14 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » May 18th, 2019, 7:47 am

There are some solid threads here on value Rhones, and not just from France.

Given your apparent affinity for more modern wines, I think the recommendations above for Paris wines, especially the Cornas 30 and 60, are excellent recommendations. Great materials in these wines, glossy for my palate but not overdone at all. An easy “buy”. Alain Graillout and Rousset are some other excellent choices in that $25-$40 range. Barou is a solid value and under $25. These are not high-alcohol, big-punch wines like what you are buying, but they show more syrah typicity, are affordable, and pair well with food. Worth a try.

Look for wines from St. Joseph, Northern Rhone.

And yes, Bedrock of course. I’m a not a huge fan of the Bedrock syrahs, but they seem to be in your flavor profile. I am really enamored with the Bedrock. Morgan and Chris are the top tier of Zins IMHO.

Carlisle? Copain? Pax?

"@lf3rt was clearly raised in an outhouse in the Loire. . . ."

Kenny H (circa 2015)

User avatar
dave kammerer
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 242
Joined: November 19th, 2009, 12:36 pm
Location: Geneva IL, Phoenix AZ

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#15 Post by dave kammerer » May 18th, 2019, 7:53 am

Try Anthill Farms and Myriad syrah at about $45

NickRut
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 661
Joined: June 10th, 2016, 5:00 pm

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#16 Post by NickRut » May 18th, 2019, 8:02 am

Myriad, Quivet, Carlisle and Chris Tynan all come to mind
Rutkowski

User avatar
Bud Carey
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 5478
Joined: February 2nd, 2009, 8:29 am
Location: Philly Suburbs

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#17 Post by Bud Carey » May 18th, 2019, 8:17 am

I regularly buy 3 of those 4.
Budman

User avatar
NoahR
Posts: 2385
Joined: December 1st, 2013, 1:07 pm

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#18 Post by NoahR » May 18th, 2019, 8:37 am

Myriad and Bedrock will definitely be I. Your wheelhouse. I think you would find Copain and Pax too lean but hard to say.
Noah Raizman
Washington, DC

User avatar
Brian Tuite
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 18826
Joined: July 3rd, 2010, 8:53 am
Location: Podunk CA

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#19 Post by Brian Tuite » May 18th, 2019, 8:59 am

NoahR wrote:
May 18th, 2019, 8:37 am
Myriad and Bedrock will definitely be I. Your wheelhouse. I think you would find Copain and Pax too lean but hard to say.
What ^^ he ^^ said.
Bob Wood - 1949-2013 Berserker for eternity! RIP

"On self-reflection, I think a big part of it was me just being a PITA customer..." ~ Anonymous Berserker

"Something so subtle only I can detect it." ~ Randy Bowman

2019 WOTY...

User avatar
larry schaffer
BerserkerBusiness
BerserkerBusiness
Posts: 7520
Joined: January 28th, 2009, 9:26 am
Location: Santa Ynez Valley, CA

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#20 Post by larry schaffer » May 18th, 2019, 9:41 am

So many great options already mentioned - but a few more in my neck of the woods to consider:

Ojai Vineyards
Jaffurs
Samsara
Stolpman

Good luck! And next time you are heading to Paso, consider detouring to Santa Barbara County instead!

Cheers.
larry schaffer
tercero wines

User avatar
Markus S
Posts: 5826
Joined: May 20th, 2010, 7:27 am

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#21 Post by Markus S » May 18th, 2019, 9:44 am

Buy a large assortment of Cornas, Hermitage, Cote Rotie, and some Saint Joe's, and you'll be sitting pretty in syrah retirement heaven!
$ _ € ® e . k @

User avatar
GregT
Posts: 7551
Joined: April 15th, 2009, 3:12 pm

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#22 Post by GregT » May 18th, 2019, 10:38 am

I would drop them all. They're overpriced for what you get. I've had and/or have all and didn't and wouldn't pay the full retail price for any of them. And unfortunately, so is much of the Syrah from the Northern Rhone these days.

That said, Syrah is one of the most interesting grapes in CA these days because there are so many styles to choose from.

Myriad and Bedrock will be closer to what you're drinking, if that's the style you like. They're not like N. Rhone in the least, so before you go out and start buying expensive things from the N. Rhone, try a few. And the price differentials are like here - not necessarily worth the extra in all cases.

And while the good folks on this board tend to stick with CA and France, you don't need to do that. There's really good Syrah made all over the world these days - South Africa, Chile, Australia, Spain, Hungary, Austria, also Washington State as you know since you're buying Cayuse.
G . T a t a r

[i]"the incorrect overuse of apostrophes is staggering these days. I wonder if half the adults these days have any idea what they are for." Chris Seiber, 5/14/19[/i]

markjchambers
Posts: 47
Joined: April 19th, 2019, 6:55 am

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#23 Post by markjchambers » May 18th, 2019, 5:53 pm

More helpful comments.

1) I just passed on the Next of Kyn offer. I'll keep SQN, but I don't need NOK. Not sure about the Third Twin.
2) I will t try ordering less Saxum. I do enjoy Rocket Block and G2 even neither contains any syrah.
2) I do get Carlisle syrahs. Carlisle is the best. I take what I want and and I ask for more of this or that and I usually get it. My problem is that I can't keep my hands off them and they too early. They need time and I haven't waited long enough.
3) I had not heard of Myriad, but they seem Bevan-like. I'm a big fan of Bevan Moaveni syrah. $75 isn't value pricing, but it's not $100 either. The Sonoma syrahs I've run into seem to be like the Pinots - big fruit with the best having a serious backbone.
4) I'll look for some northern Rhone's and search for the threads that were mentioned. People say Cayuse has a northern Rhone vibe and I'm certainly into Cayuse.

User avatar
Robert.A.Jr.
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 20454
Joined: January 28th, 2010, 5:03 am
Location: Orlando, Florida

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#24 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » May 18th, 2019, 6:21 pm

GregT wrote:
May 18th, 2019, 10:38 am

And while the good folks on this board tend to stick with CA and France, you don't need to do that. There's really good Syrah made all over the world these days - South Africa, Chile, Australia, Spain, Hungary, Austria, also Washington State as you know since you're buying Cayuse.
That’s not been my personal experience. At least for me, syrah is best from France, and secondarily, from some California winemakers and vineyards. The rest are few and far between for me.

"@lf3rt was clearly raised in an outhouse in the Loire. . . ."

Kenny H (circa 2015)

User avatar
NoahR
Posts: 2385
Joined: December 1st, 2013, 1:07 pm

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#25 Post by NoahR » May 18th, 2019, 6:53 pm

My experience here jibes with Alfert’s as usual - haven’t had compelling Syrah that wasn’t from France or US.

And honestly, there is not a US cab that hits the savory, feral notes of Northern Rhône, even if some of the better examples have all the white pepper and violets and even some of the meat tones.

Have had 5 or 6 iterations of Bionic Frog and never would I have associated it with a Northern Rhône vibe. I would sample the Northern Rhône to get a real sense of what Syrah is capable of. You may or may not dig it.
Noah Raizman
Washington, DC

User avatar
T.Phillips
Posts: 50
Joined: April 9th, 2018, 12:53 pm

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#26 Post by T.Phillips » May 18th, 2019, 10:42 pm

I’ll toss in Arcadian syrahs. Joe Davis makes some good juice
T y

User avatar
Robert M yers
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 2119
Joined: March 10th, 2010, 8:24 pm
Location: Cleveland

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#27 Post by Robert M yers » May 18th, 2019, 11:16 pm

Mark,
Congrats on making some first steps to downsize, they are hard choices but gets easier once you start to figure out the ones you truly cherish.

As confirmed above, yes you can drop any Cayuse wine you don’t want without worry about losing others. Once your in a wine your in permanently. Dropping has never affected my add requests as far as I can tell either.

We are making a leap here that you may like some N Rhône wines, but it’s worth a Small investment now to find out. And since you’ve been drinking lots of Syrah, you really should find out now! Buy a 15/16 Vincent Paris 30/60 and see if it scratches your Syrah itch. If it does, you've just opened up a whole world of reasonably priced wines. Of course You can chase the whales in Rhône too if you want, but it isn’t necessary to experience what the region has to offer.

Although they aren’t my style any longer, I do also like the recommendation of K Vintners if your looking for a less expensive domestic replacement. Smith makes great wines in the style and they are reasonably priced too.

Noah, just curious...you don’t get a Cayuse funk that at least says this isn’t your normal US Syrah? It so unmistakable to me I always find it fascinating when people say they don’t notice it? I’m not saying it’s a ringer, but I’ve had lots of N Rhône with less earth/funk or whatever than Cayuse.

User avatar
NoahR
Posts: 2385
Joined: December 1st, 2013, 1:07 pm

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#28 Post by NoahR » May 19th, 2019, 4:35 am

Robert - it’s not the funk. I agree that Bionic Frog can have a little of that. And there are certainly some tastings of young syrahs described here where people couldnt reliably differentiate between US and Rhône, so I certainly won’t say They’re two completely different animals. But they’re made differently in different climates.

I think you can make something that tastes Rhoney in California when it’s young by picking early and accentuating acidity and lean, savory, vegetal flavors, but if you actually pick at phenolic ripeness in California or Washington, you’re going to end up with a higher octane, fuller bodied, fruitier wine than you will ever get on the slopes of the Rhône.

I would also argue that you could compare village Burgundy to similarly priced US Pinot noir and, unless you’re talking a super-ripe vintage like 2009/2003/2015, you’d be able to pick the Burg out of the lineup.
Noah Raizman
Washington, DC

Diane Kessler
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1404
Joined: November 11th, 2009, 11:46 am

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#29 Post by Diane Kessler » May 19th, 2019, 6:18 am

I may have missed it, but I didn't see any mention of Lagier Meredith. Reasonably priced, and they age beautifully. I mainly drink Northern Rhone Syrah, but also enjoy Lagier Meredith.

User avatar
Kris Patten
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 4139
Joined: February 1st, 2009, 6:25 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#30 Post by Kris Patten » May 19th, 2019, 7:11 am

Excellent recommendation Diane, big +1
.
ITB

User avatar
Kirk.Grant
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 3108
Joined: May 27th, 2012, 1:29 pm
Location: Bangor, Maine

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#31 Post by Kirk.Grant » May 19th, 2019, 8:45 am

markjchambers wrote:
May 17th, 2019, 3:56 pm
I have long been a new world syrah lover and over the years I have managed to get on what I consider to be the primo lists. But retirement is upon me and I really can't afford to buy all of the wine I'm being offered. I should cut back by about half. So who stays and who goes?

Alban - my first great syrah experience. Love him and love the wines. My first Reva was a 1998 purchased for $38. Now Reva is ~$100. Seymour's and Lorraine are ~$160. That much better than Reva? But really, Patrina is pretty good - half the price of Reva and not hard to find.

Cayuse - at least they don't over load you with wine. For the longest time I only got 3 bottles a year. Now I'm up to 6, but the second 3-pack was God Only Knows - not what I was looking for. I was thinking about dropping, then they granted me the Frog. Still, just 9 bottles a year. And at a reasonable cost. I did opt not to go for Horsepower or Hors Categorie because of the higher cost, but I wonder if these are now Christoph's true love.

Saxum - found them at Hospice du Rhone in 2006. So I got the great 2007 vintage. They have held their price at ~$100 for a long time, but not many vintages have been as good as the 2007s. Two and half cases a year is ~$3000.

SQN - I waited a long time to get on the list and I have sucked up everything I could since. The prices haven't gone up that much, especially when you compare them Napa cabs (is that valid?), but I get offered a lot and I feel like I have to take it all. Unlike Cayuse, I went for every secondary offering. I couldn't get Chimere, but I did finally get Next of Kyn and snagged some Third Twin. The total yearly tab just for the SQN family is approaching $10K.

One solution is to just buy less, but I think it is likely that most of these places will drop me if I don't take my full allocation. I share my allocations when I can find a friend who is interested. I could flip some, but I really don't want to buy wine for that purpose and few of these are really flippable, By the time you pay the auction fees, most are break even or worse.
Mark,

Of these I used to buy Cayuse, and still buy SQN. I'll echo what others have said. Diversify your buying a little more. These are all similar in style and I believe you'll hit a place one day where you like a different style. It would be a shame if in another 5-7 years you suddenly realize these aren't the style of Syrah that you like. If it were me, I'd cut out the producer that you have the most of their wines and then use that money to buy a different style of Syrah. As others have suggested maybe look to the Northern Rhone while they're still affordable. Producers that it seems you might enjoy may be Alain Voge in Cornas, Rene Rostaing in Cote Rotie, & M. Chapoutier in Hermitage.
Cellartracker:Kirk Grant

Rama Roberts
Posts: 873
Joined: September 2nd, 2013, 8:03 pm
Location: SF peninsula

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#32 Post by Rama Roberts » May 19th, 2019, 8:50 am

Hi Mark, leave it to this board to spin your question about what to drop with unrequested answers on what to replace it with! [cheers.gif]

I don't know your palate or your financial situation, but it sounds to me like a big part of your struggle is fear of missing out. There are several threads here (and I can speak from first hand experience) how liberating it is to drop or severely cut back on producers that either require continuous purchases and/or dominate your cellar. Chances are you won't look back.

User avatar
Arv R
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 3571
Joined: January 11th, 2015, 3:53 pm

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#33 Post by Arv R » May 19th, 2019, 8:56 am

If retirement is on the brink, think about not just downsizing your incoming wine purchases, but your existing cellar. It's a lot easier to part ways with chattels while one can make the choices themselves, rather than having others do it for you. Also if there's a chance your living arrangements will eventually change, having right sized the cellar ahead of time makes it easier to make that transition. Perhaps a few Eurocaves can handle your needs rather than a basement or a separate room.

It so easy nowadays to buy wine that even if you do end up wanting a certain bottle for an event / occasion you can almost always find it. The few wines you suspect you won't be able to find later are the ones that merit continued purchase/storage.
R_@_0

User avatar
Blake Brown
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 5691
Joined: May 2nd, 2010, 11:17 pm
Location: Santa Barbara

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#34 Post by Blake Brown » May 19th, 2019, 9:38 am

larry schaffer wrote:
May 18th, 2019, 9:41 am
So many great options already mentioned - but a few more in my neck of the woods to consider:

Ojai Vineyards
Jaffurs
Samsara
Stolpman

Good luck! And next time you are heading to Paso, consider detouring to Santa Barbara County instead!

Cheers.
+1 on Jaffurs and a big vote for Qupe under Bob Lindquist`s ownership.

BTW, Bob is selling off a huge inventory of his wines at 50% off and more for vintages from 96`- 14`next Saturday. For those interested, you can opt for a pdf to be sent to you via email and can buy without having to be at the winery although that promises to be a big and fun party with numerous library wines opened as well. If interested, call them for info: 805-937-9801
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
Napolean Bonaparte

“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

User avatar
Yao C
Posts: 546
Joined: February 1st, 2017, 10:53 pm
Location: Portland / San Francisco

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#35 Post by Yao C » May 19th, 2019, 9:47 am

Robert M yers wrote:
May 18th, 2019, 11:16 pm
We are making a leap here that you may like some N Rhône wines, but it’s worth a Small investment now to find out. And since you’ve been drinking lots of Syrah, you really should find out now! Buy a 15/16 Vincent Paris 30/60 and see if it scratches your Syrah itch. If it does, you've just opened up a whole world of reasonably priced wines. Of course You can chase the whales in Rhône too if you want, but it isn’t necessary to experience what the region has to offer.
3rding this; it's worth trying Vincent Paris 30 and not hard to get your hands on it. Faury St Joseph VV, Rousset Picaudieres and Pierres Seches Sainte Epine (all N Rhone) are also worth a shot [cheers.gif]
C h 0 o n 6

User avatar
Anton D
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 28806
Joined: October 17th, 2013, 11:25 am
Location: Chico, CA

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#36 Post by Anton D » May 19th, 2019, 10:35 am

markjchambers wrote:
May 17th, 2019, 3:56 pm
I have long been a new world syrah lover and over the years I have managed to get on what I consider to be the primo lists. But retirement is upon me and I really can't afford to buy all of the wine I'm being offered. I should cut back by about half. So who stays and who goes?

Alban - my first great syrah experience. Love him and love the wines. My first Reva was a 1998 purchased for $38. Now Reva is ~$100. Seymour's and Lorraine are ~$160. That much better than Reva? But really, Patrina is pretty good - half the price of Reva and not hard to find.

Cayuse - at least they don't over load you with wine. For the longest time I only got 3 bottles a year. Now I'm up to 6, but the second 3-pack was God Only Knows - not what I was looking for. I was thinking about dropping, then they granted me the Frog. Still, just 9 bottles a year. And at a reasonable cost. I did opt not to go for Horsepower or Hors Categorie because of the higher cost, but I wonder if these are now Christoph's true love.

Saxum - found them at Hospice du Rhone in 2006. So I got the great 2007 vintage. They have held their price at ~$100 for a long time, but not many vintages have been as good as the 2007s. Two and half cases a year is ~$3000.

SQN - I waited a long time to get on the list and I have sucked up everything I could since. The prices haven't gone up that much, especially when you compare them Napa cabs (is that valid?), but I get offered a lot and I feel like I have to take it all. Unlike Cayuse, I went for every secondary offering. I couldn't get Chimere, but I did finally get Next of Kyn and snagged some Third Twin. The total yearly tab just for the SQN family is approaching $10K.

One solution is to just buy less, but I think it is likely that most of these places will drop me if I don't take my full allocation. I share my allocations when I can find a friend who is interested. I could flip some, but I really don't want to buy wine for that purpose and few of these are really flippable, By the time you pay the auction fees, most are break even or worse.
Difficulty letting go is really something I relate to.

What helped me was picking the first one to drop, then it suddenly became cathartic!

One exception: Keep the SQN and sell them to fellow wine lovers on Commerce Corner with no mark up. That will bring you joy, as well.
Anton Dotson

What is man, when you come to think upon him, but a minutely set, ingenious machine for turning, with infinite artfulness, the fine red wine of Shiraz into urine?

User avatar
Sc0tt F!tzger@ld
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2958
Joined: March 12th, 2013, 7:32 am

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#37 Post by Sc0tt F!tzger@ld » May 19th, 2019, 10:44 am

Brian Tuite wrote:
May 18th, 2019, 8:59 am
NoahR wrote:
May 18th, 2019, 8:37 am
Myriad and Bedrock will definitely be I. Your wheelhouse. I think you would find Copain and Pax too lean but hard to say.
What ^^ he ^^ said.
I'll 'third' that. Just went to check past tasting notes on Myriad and Bedrock - great syrahs at good prices.

User avatar
Markus S
Posts: 5826
Joined: May 20th, 2010, 7:27 am

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#38 Post by Markus S » May 19th, 2019, 2:05 pm

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
May 18th, 2019, 6:21 pm
GregT wrote:
May 18th, 2019, 10:38 am

And while the good folks on this board tend to stick with CA and France, you don't need to do that. There's really good Syrah made all over the world these days - South Africa, Chile, Australia, Spain, Hungary, Austria, also Washington State as you know since you're buying Cayuse.
That’s not been my personal experience. At least for me, syrah is best from France, and secondarily, from some California winemakers and vineyards. The rest are few and far between for me.
Decent syrah from South Africa for those who look.
$ _ € ® e . k @

User avatar
Howard Cooper
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 16231
Joined: May 30th, 2009, 8:37 am
Location: Rockville, MD

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#39 Post by Howard Cooper » May 19th, 2019, 5:48 pm

markjchambers wrote:
May 17th, 2019, 3:56 pm
I have long been a new world syrah lover and over the years I have managed to get on what I consider to be the primo lists. But retirement is upon me and I really can't afford to buy all of the wine I'm being offered. I should cut back by about half. So who stays and who goes?

Alban - my first great syrah experience. Love him and love the wines. My first Reva was a 1998 purchased for $38. Now Reva is ~$100. Seymour's and Lorraine are ~$160. That much better than Reva? But really, Patrina is pretty good - half the price of Reva and not hard to find.

Cayuse - at least they don't over load you with wine. For the longest time I only got 3 bottles a year. Now I'm up to 6, but the second 3-pack was God Only Knows - not what I was looking for. I was thinking about dropping, then they granted me the Frog. Still, just 9 bottles a year. And at a reasonable cost. I did opt not to go for Horsepower or Hors Categorie because of the higher cost, but I wonder if these are now Christoph's true love.

Saxum - found them at Hospice du Rhone in 2006. So I got the great 2007 vintage. They have held their price at ~$100 for a long time, but not many vintages have been as good as the 2007s. Two and half cases a year is ~$3000.

SQN - I waited a long time to get on the list and I have sucked up everything I could since. The prices haven't gone up that much, especially when you compare them Napa cabs (is that valid?), but I get offered a lot and I feel like I have to take it all. Unlike Cayuse, I went for every secondary offering. I couldn't get Chimere, but I did finally get Next of Kyn and snagged some Third Twin. The total yearly tab just for the SQN family is approaching $10K.

One solution is to just buy less, but I think it is likely that most of these places will drop me if I don't take my full allocation. I share my allocations when I can find a friend who is interested. I could flip some, but I really don't want to buy wine for that purpose and few of these are really flippable, By the time you pay the auction fees, most are break even or worse.
Are you aging the wines or drinking them young. If you drink them young, which ones get drunk up and which wines do you never quite get to? Continue to buy the ones you drink up and drop the ones you never quite get to.

If you buy them to age, which ones age best - your opinion is the only one that counts. Continue to Buy those.
Howard

"That's what I do. I drink and I know things." Tyrion Lannister

User avatar
GregT
Posts: 7551
Joined: April 15th, 2009, 3:12 pm

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#40 Post by GregT » May 19th, 2019, 7:51 pm

Markus S wrote:
May 19th, 2019, 2:05 pm
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
May 18th, 2019, 6:21 pm
GregT wrote:
May 18th, 2019, 10:38 am

And while the good folks on this board tend to stick with CA and France, you don't need to do that. There's really good Syrah made all over the world these days - South Africa, Chile, Australia, Spain, Hungary, Austria, also Washington State as you know since you're buying Cayuse.
That’s not been my personal experience. At least for me, syrah is best from France, and secondarily, from some California winemakers and vineyards. The rest are few and far between for me.
Decent syrah from South Africa for those who look.
Yep. Might try Leeuwenkil, Sijnn, maybe Reyneke, if you like some spice and meaty notes. From Chile you can try Ventisquero, which is a good but slightly new-world style, or look for some wines from the Elqui valley - some are on the cost just like in Sonoma and the profiles are similar. You won't likely find these too easily, but Attila Németh in Hungary made a delicious and inexpensive Syrah, and Laszlo Bulkoyi made an outstanding one.

The fact that Syrah is planted widely gives us a wonderful opportunity to see how it can vary from place to place. It is really a grape that reflects its terroir and wine making so much more than something like Pinot Noir or Cab, so I would encourage tasting as many as possible.
G . T a t a r

[i]"the incorrect overuse of apostrophes is staggering these days. I wonder if half the adults these days have any idea what they are for." Chris Seiber, 5/14/19[/i]

James Billy
Posts: 861
Joined: November 10th, 2016, 6:53 pm

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#41 Post by James Billy » May 20th, 2019, 12:11 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
May 18th, 2019, 6:21 pm
GregT wrote:
May 18th, 2019, 10:38 am

And while the good folks on this board tend to stick with CA and France, you don't need to do that. There's really good Syrah made all over the world these days - South Africa, Chile, Australia, Spain, Hungary, Austria, also Washington State as you know since you're buying Cayuse.
That’s not been my personal experience. At least for me, syrah is best from France, and secondarily, from some California winemakers and vineyards. The rest are few and far between for me.
Lol. You haven't tried South African Syrah or from other New World countries (that doesn't just mean the States, you know?!)

Edit: I missed Marcus' post above when I wrote this.

User avatar
Robert.A.Jr.
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 20454
Joined: January 28th, 2010, 5:03 am
Location: Orlando, Florida

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#42 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » May 20th, 2019, 5:28 am

I have tried many of the years, none that made me a repeat buyer. That does not mean I did not enjoy some.

I have found this with Cab Franc as well. I love Cab Franc, but rarely buy any outside of Bordeaux and Loire. And yes, I have tried many from all over. Raats from South Africa is an exception, an excellent Cab Franc expressing solid typicity. Interestingly, their so-called luxury cuvee (Mvemve Raats de Compostella), in prior vintages I tried, is over-oaked and tastes like something Rolland might have made. Stick to their $30 base Cab Franc. They make a less expensive bottling called Jasper that is quite nice. And their sub-$15 unoaked Chenin Blanc is lovely.

"@lf3rt was clearly raised in an outhouse in the Loire. . . ."

Kenny H (circa 2015)

Michael Martin
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 6236
Joined: August 28th, 2010, 3:35 pm

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#43 Post by Michael Martin » May 20th, 2019, 5:39 am

I love Syrah and I bought many on your list, but I am also scaling back with impending retirement around the corner.

I decided the best bang for the buck for my tastes are Jaffurs and Bedrock. Their Syrahs are different from each other and I feel I get the best of southern and northern CA with their offerings.

I dropped Alban a couple years ago and just stopped buying Saxum. For more than double the price of Jaffurs or Bedrock, I just wasn’t getting double the enjoyment.

User avatar
Gabe Berk
Posts: 113
Joined: October 24th, 2018, 9:51 am

Re: which syrahs are retirement worthy?

#44 Post by Gabe Berk » May 20th, 2019, 2:55 pm

Lucia -Susan's Hill Syrah (Section of Pisoni Vineyard) is amazing stuff at $60 a bottle.

Post Reply

Return to “Wine Talk”