TN: 2019 Halcon Vineyards Syrah Alturas

Re-reading this on the thread bump and this may be the most honest parenthetical in the history of wine TNs! [cheers.gif]

2019 Halcon Vineyards Syrah Alturas - USA, California, North Coast, Yorkville Highlands (3/26/2022)
– decanted approx. 1.25 hrs. before initial taste –
– tasted non-blind over approx. 2 - 3 hrs. –

NOSE: raspberry jam and that exotic green pepper/briney/savoriness that I love in cool climate Syrah; seems open and expressive; with a couple hours open, the pepper turned to black pepper and the fruit tones moved towards the darker end of the spectrum.

BODY: medium-light to medium bodied.

TASTE: high acidity; spiky tannins; very savory, with purple fruits (plum and light blackberry); not gloppy/thick; alc. well-hidden; would greatly benefit from a year or two in the cellar.

So it really hasn’t moved since I tasted it last year then.

It would appear not; at least, not in a meaningful way.

A bit off topic… but have anyone tasted the 2015 lately?

had both the 2019 and then the 2018 with family on Sunday night and the 2019 was IMHO much better than the 2018. the 18 felt shut down or just lacking compared to the 19

1 Like

That’s great to hear, I ended up with a case of this wine, and a six pack of the upper Cuvee, whose name now escapes me.



What’s your take on optimal drinking dates at this point? (And how old do you usually like your wines?)

1 Like

Had the 2015 back in November. Enjoyable, but still felt a bit shutdown. Will wait another year or two before i open my next 2015.

I’m not much of a predictor of such things and I like Syrah with some age on it but the CA Syrahs (with a few exceptions) don’t change that much IMHO


Hopefully at some point this becomes one of the exceptions.

We did a Halcon couple tastings a few years back which showed that they change over the years when you compare cross notes from the two tastings.

Syrah with Halcon vertical in 2014

Halcon only in 2017

1 Like

I’ve found many people saying the TN’s on CT that they want to age these more. That seems a knee jerk reaction to me. I think the Alturas wines do not really ‘need’ extended aging to be at their best. I thought the '19 is the best of the Halcon Syrahs I have tried when I had it in Feb '21. I thought it was drinking quite well at that point. I put my personal drinking window to '23 just to take the edge off the tannin and for maybe better integration. I suppose they might shut down at some point but I wouldn’t bet on it.

All that said I’m sure they will live under cork just fine for quite some time. For me the point of aging a wine is that one thinks it will be at its best at some point beyond now. There are plenty of wines, even very spendy ones, that get knee jerk cellaring even though they really don’t need it.

1 Like

Yes I’ve certainly been guilty of that.

Why would the country of origin dictate whether it will age into something more interesting or not?

If the climate is the same and the soils and cultivation and vine material and winemaking are the same or very similar, why wouldn’t these wines age like a good cote rotie? Not saying these are particular traits in this particular example, but why shouldn’t one expect these to age into something like an aged French Syrah?

Opened one of these nights. Definitely a brooding, meaty Syrah. A bit clumsy but not unlikeable.

The CT window via John Gilman is really long…until 2075. Not sure the two more bottles I have will wait that long…nor will I be drinking wine in 2075.

I found that amusing too. Nearly all the bottles I have are listed as 2055 - 2075. The only one that did not was the '19 Petite Syrah coming in at a respectable 2031. A bit ridiculous and yeah I hope to be taking a good dirt nap by 2075 to not find out if that’s possibly true.

I will sit on these (and most of his 19s) and test periodically. Having had a few, I think slumber time helps. Kinda like @Cris_Whetstone suggested. I may go longer than him though based on what I have tasted for my palate and perceptions. But we’ll be in similar ballparks for home run distance.

1 Like