TNs: Cabot 06 EXT Syrah & Havens 06 Hudson Syrah

Opened a Berserker Day Cabot and one of my Havens Syrahs from their liquidation over the weekend. I got more bacon from the Havens Hudson Syrah, surprisingly. I’m curious to see how the Cabot Aria’s compares, though, given the Viognier and shorter barrel aging regime. I don’t know whether the Havens '06 Hudson had Viognier blended/co-fermented, but it sure smells like it might.

BTW, I bought a bunch of '05 Havens Hudson Syrah during the liquidation. It wasn’t terrible–the nose was spot on–but the palate was just off-kilter. Too bitter on the finish. Anyone with the '06 Havens Hudson has the real deal. My 1st note on this wine is also below.

  • 2006 Havens Wine Cellars Syrah T Block Hudson Vineyard - USA, California, Napa Valley, Carneros (2/6/2011)
    Loved this bottle. Bacon and musky, honeysuckle aromas–does this have Viognier blended? Structured–ripe tannin and juicy acidity. Dark fruits, complete on the palate. Consistent w/ my first note. Top notch cool-climate Syrah. This should age in my estimation, but the classy texture, full body and flavor is enticing now. (92 pts.)
  • 2006 Cabot Vineyards Syrah EXT - USA, California, North Coast, Humboldt County (2/4/2011)
    Smoky, meaty, leathery nose with berry fruit, garrigue and coffee in the background. Full bodied, but not fruit driven. Spicy, meaty and earthy with vanilla. Has a somewhat rustic profile; I like it though it’s hard to explain. Good acidity, moderate tannin, hint of heat on finish. A bit tight right now and lacking some lift for my taste. Cool climate Syrah character shows nicely. This does not feel heavily extracted as Syrah often is.

According to John Cabot’s notes, this spent an additional year in seasoned oak relative to regular cuvee–so 30 months total it appears. He also recommends holding for oak to integrate. Probably explains the vanilla on the finish at this point. It’ll be interesting to try the other cuvees with differing aging regimes (and blends). I’d say hold for now. (87 pts.)

  • 2006 Havens Wine Cellars Syrah T Block Hudson Vineyard - USA, California, Napa Valley, Carneros (12/30/2009)
    Everything one could want in a Syrah. Shifty nose of game/pork, floral aromas, blackberry, clove, pepper and herbs. Very complex, even at its young age. Good body, but not over the top. Silky texture. Tannins are bitter at first, then get sweeter with air. Fruit loosens up as well. Has a good amount of oak, well-integrated to boot. Long finish of fruit and spice. Insane QPR if you got it on closeout!

Improved with decanting. (92 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

Thanks for the notes…had the '06 EXT over the weekend, and was trying to come up with some descriptors but I think you nailed it pretty well…for both my wife and I it was a little too meaty and leathery, a tad too dense…didn’t change much on day two, lost a bit of the spice is all…well made I’m sure but not a style I particularly enjoy…first Cabot we tried, anxious to try some others…

After seeing this note, I thought I’d crack one tonight. I think this wine is closing up a bit. The red fruit is not showing much right now. I’d hold these for a while.

Yeah, I was struggling to figure out what it was–it just didn’t have that bit of juicy lift that really elevates a wine up an extra level. Yet it wasn’t lacking in acidity, either.

How long would you recommend holding?

Any thoughts on the aging curve of the '07 Humboldt and '06 Aria’s?

I’d hold the Ext for another 6 mths to a year before trying another. I think the fruit/wood/meat will come back into balance again. It is still showing ‘first year in the bottle’ variation.
The Arias is drinking nicely right now and I believe will age gracefully for some years to come. The Humboldt is also very young and should go 5 yrs easily. Depends on what you are looking to get out of it. It’s the first multiple vineyard syrah I’ve bottled. So, it’s hard to say for sure how long it will go.

Thanks John… the other wines I have are the '07 Humboldt and '06 Aria’s as well… I’ll be patient and hold on a bit as you suggest…I’m generally pretty good at that, holding off on drinking new wine right away, but this was my first purchase.

Aria’s is next on my list to try–though I’ll give it at least another week or two in case travel shock was adding to the closed state of the EXT.

and a couple of hours in a decanter [cheers.gif]

I used to wholesale Havens and while Michael called the Hudson his version of Cote Rotie I do not believe it had any Viognier in it.

I will pull some 2005 and 2006 on my next trip to the locker.

I looked up the stats and the '06 is listed as 100% Syrah. The '05 had 2% Viognier.