TN: 2008 Lillian Winery Syrah Blue Label

  • 2008 Lillian Winery Syrah Blue Label - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County (8/20/2016)
    Three hour decant. The followed for two hours. Outstanding California syrah. There is great balance with red fruit and spice. Cherry and maybe plum and a bit of dark berries. The spice is not classic syrah pepper but a lighter, more earthy component with a rustic backbone.

I have only had Lillian four or five times. The first bottle was awful - extremely bitter and rough - so I shied away, but it must have been a bad bottle because every bottle after that has been outstanding. (94 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

Nice, thanks for the note Jay!

I’ve actually never tried a Lilian Syrah but keep hearing nothing but great things from many on this board who dig the same types of wines that I do.

Thinking it’s time I try one - any suggestions as to which vintages I should seek out for near-term drinking?? This 2008 sounds killer Jay, but i have no idea when these wines hit their sweet-spot, so any feedback would be appreciated.

I’ve personally found some variation on these, but when it’s on, it’s on big time. I’ve found these to be both rustic and rich with an enormous amount of ‘for the masses’ complexity (and I do mean that as a compliment). This is YUMMY AS F when it’s on.

I have no idea. My experience with Lillian is limited. I traded two Saxums for two Lillians with a friend a few years ago and this is the first one I opened myself.

'06, '07 and '08 were all good years for Santa Barbara County Syrah and they should go 12-15 years or more.

Gotcha. Thanks fellas. I’ll start poking around and see if I can’t snag one from 06-08.

'12’s and '13’s are/will be good too.

If I’m not mistaken, she changed some of her fruit choices over time, so you may want to investigate further on that. Also, in terms of vintages, 07 and 09 from our area should be long lasting; 08 perhaps not as much so as it was a frost year and was a bit more challenging; 10 and 11 were cool years - and I dig the results but others may not as much; 12 and 13 were bigger crops and in some cases, less intense wines were made.

And Jay, no surprise that you would like these at all - surprised your earlier experiences were not good based on the wines you seem to like.



I think my first ever Lillian was just a bad bottle, or maybe I was in a bad mood or taking antibiotics or who knows. Every subsequent bottle was excellent. I have an '07 regular label, which I will save for 5 years or so. I can drink some Tercero while I wait. :slight_smile:

I bought the three pack offer until a few years back when spending needed to be reduced. I have yet to drink any and think it’s about time to open an '06.