2019 Arnot-Roberts, Syrah, Sonoma Coast.
One of my favorite wines from Duncan and Nathan at Arnot-Roberts is their gorgeous cool climate Sonoma Coast Syrah which slows loads of whole cluster and Northern Rhone character with a beautifully inviting dark purple hue in the glass, a layered medium bodied palate that features brambly spices, boysenberry, damson plum, black currant and bright kirsch notes as well as cracked peppercorn, olive tapenade, tar, licorice, mineral tones, camphor and a light cedary note. The crunchy herbs and umami adds dimension and the vintage’s natural acidity keeps everything riveting and crisply detailed, this year could easily be mistaken for an Alain Graillot Crozes-Hermitage-Hermitage or Domaine Jamet’s entry level Cotes-du-Rhone Syrah, which is, if you know me, high praise. This wine, even on day two is impeccably fresh and vibrant, gaining more floral aromatics and subtle earthiness, it is exceptional with food too, it truly is a great California version of this style Syrah, joining the likes of Ojai, Drew, Pax, Halcon, newcomers Desire Lines and Samuel Louis Smith, as well as Piedrasassi, to name a few. Arnot-Roberts has a fine collection of hand made wines, this one is not to be over looked, but I advise checking out their Trout Gulch Chardonnay, their Falanghina, their Touriga Nacional Rosé, one of the most sought out dry pink wines in California, and their fascinating Jura inspired Trousseau Noir.
The Arnot-Roberts Sonoma Coast Syrah comes from four unique sites, these include the Clary Ranch, where they also do a incredible cru single vineyard version, Que Syrah, Baker Lane and Solas vineyards, that as Duncan Meyers says, provide consistently distinct fruit that is loaded with intense character and concentration, which this 2019 shows to near perfection. Duncan goes on, adding that the long slow growing season near the edge of the continent allows for complete ripeness at lower than average sugar levels, resulting in a wine of deep color that has generous fruit character with an undercurrent of earth and spice, as well as having lovely balance and energy. The winery notes that for this wine, the vineyards are harvested and fermented separately using whole bunches without de-stemming, mainly native yeasts and upon completion of native primary fermentation the wines are basket pressed to a mix of neutral French oak barrels and concrete vats for an elevage that lasts about a year before the final blend is done and bottled. This Syrah, that is best served with simple meaty dishes, continues to way over deliver for the price and is one of the best values, especially since you can drink it young and not feel it should have stayed in the cellar long or with much pain in the wallet area!
($40 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive