TN: 2013 Tercero Syrah Larner Vineyard (USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley)

  • 2013 Tercero Syrah Larner Vineyard - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley (6/20/2021)
    Really delicious Syrah. Black and blue fruits alongside some herbal notes, mainly brambly blackberries, blueberries, black plums, and black olives. Over time the earthy and herbal notes became more pronounced. Grains of paradise, dried crushed sage, Saigon cassia, sweet tobacco. Medium acid, slightly grippy polished tannins. As with all of Larry’s wines he releases them when they are ready to be enjoyed but with room for improvement should you wish to cellar them. Drink now-2027

ABV: 14.6%
Closure: Stelvin
Decant: 2h
Stem: Gabriel Glas StandArt
Assemblage: 100% Syrah from the Larner vineyard. Separated into two lots. One 100% whole cluster foot stomped and fermented and one 100% destemmed. Final blend was a 60-40 split of the whole cluster and destemmed lots respectively. Aged 34 months in older french barrels. 5 barrels produced.

I’ve been slowly making my way through a mixed case of Larry’s wines and I keep coming to the conclusion that I need to purchase more of his wines. Both whites and reds are lovely, but I’ve been especially enjoying his reds. They have a really lovely balance of fruit and earthiness that I quite enjoy


Thanks for the tasting note, Rodrigo!!! [cheers.gif]

While I am not a Syrah super-fan, I certainly can appreciate a well-crafted bottle that shows off the variety’s strengths.

I’m not a Syrah super fan either, but Larry’s is very well crafted and enjoyable. Definitely plan to purchase some more Syrah and Mouvedre from him.

I think Larry has really upped his game the last several years.

Nice note! I’ve yet to try any of Larry’s wines, but hoping to swing by during harvest, if he isn’t too busy!

So, Larry, how hard have the Syrah’s been to sell? Is it easier to sell in tasting room than online? I keep hearing of nightmares with Syrah-sales and all this resistance, but not sure if it’s actually true.

Thanks for the notes on this wine - a wine that I have only a few cases left of. I really dig this wine - it was the last vintage that I did not go 100% whole cluster - I split it into 2 ferments - one that was destemmed but uncrushed and one that was 100% whole cluster, foot stomped and fermented with the stems. I dug what both brought to the table and put a bit of each in the final blend.

This wine, to me, still has a good life ahead of it. It’s drinking beautifully now but will continue to improve for the next decade IMHO.

Excited to see notes on the other wines you open as you open them.



Thanks for the kind words, my friend. I’m digging my wines more and more - and love making ‘larger scale’ wines like this as well as ‘lighter’ wines like Cinsault and Carignane.

And watch for my first pinots and my first oak-aged Cab Franc in 2022 [snort.gif]



It’s an interesting question - and one that is not easy to answer. If you have always made syrah and it is well known, and well priced, most are not having problems selling through . . . though expectations should be kept in check. Look, if I had a sub $20 or sub $25 syrah, I’d have zero problems selling it to a larger audience. That’s not my target though - and I work with top notch fruit that simply does not pencil out to do that type of wine.

I sell mine mainly in the tasting room and online to existing customers - syrah is not a wine that most people are going to be untasted as they might something ‘unique’ like a Mission . . .


Thanks Larry.

It’s a damn shame, because, well, Syrah could just be the most versatile grape out there, right? It’s certainly the only one one you can vinify in such wildly different styles and still kick ass in each one. Light as a feather - check. Heavy as SQN - check. Whenever I hear people say “I don’t like Syrah”, I always scratch my head a bit. Which style didn’t they like? [wink.gif]

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I hear you. I think that what happens is someone either tries a warm climate version that tastes like cherry medicine or a cooler climate one that speaks of pepper and olives. At the extremes, the variety can express it so so differently, and so many consumers try a variety once or maybe twice and ‘decide’ whether they like it or not.

When I hear someone say they don’t like syrah, I ask if they like cheese . . .every type and variety???


Could it be that not being able to pinpoint Syrah IS part of the problem? Bit like Riesling? I think consumers tend to be drawn to varieties that are easily categorized and where the style stays within certain parameters.


That’s always been one of the challenges with the variety - defining ‘typicity’. I think Riesling, like Gewurztraminer, has additional challenges due to its reputation for oftentimes making ‘sweeter’ wines and therefore a kneejerk reaction on the part of most consumers.

I continue to believe that syrah offers a wonderful alternative to ‘better known’ reds, oftentimes at a much better QPR.


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