PatrickComiskey On Syrahs w/ Balance Seminar....

Nice summary today on ZesterDaily by PatrickComiskey on the Syrahs w/ Balance Seminar up in Sebastapol afore RhoneRangers:


Tom, appreciate the link. I can’t say I have tasted many of these wines, but have certainly heard of them and tasted other versions of ESJ and A-R before. As I think about my syrah inventory, it remains the #1 varietal in my own cellar, with all of it being CA syrah, too. Copain has a large place in it, and I have often noted in the past several months about how much I think of the 2007 Copains, as they do feature much of what Comiskey speaks to: distinctiveness, more about earth than fruit, whole cluster and scents of place. It was good then to see Wells amongst the small group of guys who have been making syrah and going for the core. I would have been thrilled to have sat through the tasting in Sebastopol, to connect with the theme of the event, take it in.

I do think the Copain Hawks Butte is a helluva wine and it may finish EOY for me as WOTY. There is a lot of year left and while something else may rise to the top, the Hawks Butte is excellent and for me, it fits the theme of the tasting you linked above.

  • 2007 Copain Syrah Hawks Butte Vineyard - USA, California, North Coast, Yorkville Highlands (2/26/2010)
    Copain Dinner With Wells Guthrie In The OC (Studio Restaurant @ The Montage, Laguna Beach, CA): As I have written before about wines that really thrill me…when a wine can thrill over a span of time, in different settings and contexts, with consistent pleasure and grace, this is a wine that is worthy of praise: it stands up no matter where one puts it. Once again, the 07 HB does it again. A nose of blood, olive and garrigue, with hints of bacon fat. A palate filler, broad and so balanced with roasted red fruits and a long gamey finish. This wine strikes me again as amazing and continues to be my WOTY candidate, this now being the third time I have enjoyed it since release, and once again just a thrill to drink.

Posted from CellarTracker

Yup…couldn’t agree more, Frank. I’m impressed with what Wells (and WindGap/PaxMahle) are doing with Syrah.
The night before, Casey held the EaglePointSyrah CageMatch at his home. Mostly, it was same vintages of Copain vs. Eaglepoint Syrah.
Whilst they both spoke of EaglePointSyrah terroir (Casey’s speaking with a more distinctive voice), but the Copain impressed me for
their NorthernRhone character.
Sometimes, these Syrahs made w/ restraint & balance, don’t shout enough over the Syrah din to make themselves heard. Oftentimes,
they are not particularly impressive upon release. But,oftentimes, they do age into something really special. There’s a lot to be said
for balance in a wines ageibility.
Like you, Calif Syrah is #1 in my cellar.

When the article says that these wines show freshness/energy, isn’t that really just another way of saying that they have higher relative acidity compared to wines made from much more ripe Syrah grapes?


Loved the article - anything pushing Syrah these days is a good thing in my book!!!

I will say that I believe there may be a limit to ‘pushing the boundaries’ on any variety, and syrah certainly fits that category . . . I’ve had a few ‘low alc’ syrahs that were beautifully aromatic - but VERY tough to drink . . . Now if I were to wait, say, 5 years, things might be different - but most consumers are NOT willing to do that . . .

As far as ‘freish’ goes, a lot of that has to do with the aromatics of these wines - and the fact most do not see any or much new oak. They will not come across as ‘heavy’ as many others do, or as ‘ripe’ as many others do . . .

Just my $.02 here . . .


I would probably agree that their higher acidity is a large component of it. But I think Patrick’s usage goes a little beyond just the acidity level.
The wines also had a wonderful fragrance to them, by & large. Kinda like smelling a just-picked lemon of a tree, vs. one that’s been
sitting on the WholeFoods bin for several weeks. If you can relate to that.
And, no…I have not tasted the '06 CdT!!! neener