Getting into tasting note writing again after a loooong hiatus. Be patient while I get my sea legs back
2016 Andrew Murray Syrah Tous les Jours, Santa Ynez Valley:
Nose: Minerals, Licorice, subtle herbs. Includes a saline meaty quality. Somewhat hard to describe that last bit, but very Central Coast Syrah nevertheless…
Taste: Solid core of structured black fruit, some red fruit overtones, minerals make an appearance midpalate, and a decidedly herbal finish with drying tannins. Short term laydown should polish that part up.
RSL BS Rating: 88pts, All day long.
There are exactly two budget domestic Syrah/Syrah blends I will yank off the shelf here in the Sacramento Valley regardless of vintage. The first is Tablas Creek’s Patelin de Tablas, and the second is Andrew Murray’s Tous les Jours. In this 2016 vintage the Andrew Murray excellent as usual, but shows more structure/stuffing than in some vintages past. It retails for $14, $15, $16…who cares what you pay for it. This kind of consistency and performance at that price level is to be celebrated.
2016 Carlisle Zinfandel Russian River Valley Papera Ranch:
Nose: Muted…but with clear Boysenberry, Red Raspberry, and a sweet herbal quality that I thought was Lavender but isn’t. After 2 hours in the decanter the nose has closed up.
Taste: A slow, building glide of black raspberry, black cherry and hints of bramble which folds into a peak of toasty integrated oak midpalate before descending again. Juicy, elegant, genuinely impressive length. Tannins are refined and lightly dusty right at the end. Will improve over 3-7+ years; money very well spent.
RSL BS Rating: 93+pts
Zinfandel is truly a unique grape, you don’t see it being jammed into the ground by the French or Argentinians at every given opportunity now do you (are they even allowed to plant it in France)? Carlisle and Mike Officer have this American stalwart mastered, which makes my mailing list buys every six months an easy slam-dunk. This 2016 Papera is wonderful, and 60 seconds after my last sip it’s still putting out flavors.