Gary Franscioni’s Roar label has been turning out world-class wine since 2000, and has only gone from strength to strength with total passion and commitment to quality. For the first 6 vintages Adam Lee of Siduri make the wines with style and finesse, and now Ed Kurtzman of Freeman and August West has taken over the winemaking seamlessly. With Gary hand picking every lot of fruit and helping select barrels for each cuvee, Roar is a loving effort from involved and it shows in the beautiful wines. Roar makes four Pinot Noir(s) all of which are serious and stylish wines, they include; the blended cuvee (Santa Lucia Highlands) and the three Grand Crus, Rosella’s Vineyard, Garys’ Vineyard and the Pisoni Vineyard. This spring Roar is releasing the Santa Lucia Highlands (cuvee of the three vineyards) and the Garys’ Vineyard, both of which are great wines. The Garys’ is the more rich and deep, but with lush smooth textures, proving the cliché that a great wine is always a great wine from day one until it is all gone. Later in the year Roar will release the other two Pinots and two Syrahs, plus a new Chardonnay from the Rosella’s Vineyard that Gary says will set new standards for richness and class from the region, and that will be a tough act, but one I can believe. Franscioni says the clones are very special and that he was inspired to do a Chardonnay in the style of Peter Michael with the class of a Montrachet to boot. I am dying to try this wine that has been bottled, from the 2007 vintage, and should be release late in the year. Back to the Syrah, I am really interested to see the new vintage, as the 2006 Rosella’s Syrah was an amazing wine and wildly hailed as a masterpiece, in fact it may prove to have won the heart of Robert Parker, who claimed that the 2006 Syrahs from the vineyards owned by Franscioni and his partner Gary Pisoni could have been the best wines of the vintage, maybe even better than the Pinot Noir(s)! I can also say the Roar Syrah really won me over as well, and I have wondered if Syrah might prove to be the best red grape of the Santa Lucia Highlands, I’ll let you know in a few vintages. As for now, well, I still love the Pinots, with the Rosella’s, Garys’ and Pisoni being to me the class of the area. I liken them to Richebourg, La Tache and Romanee-Conti the famed Grand Cru Cote de Nuits vineyards of Burgundy, enough said!