Gregory Dal Piaz

Location: New York, NY

7 Top Syrah Values Tasted 9/2014

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Corvidae Wine Company Lenore Syrah Columbia Valley (2011)
Comments: A bit stemmy and herbal on the nose in an attractive way with hints of red hots candy and medicinal licorice tones framing floral tinged black fruits. A touch weighty in the mouth, this has the hint of red hots and a really detailed streak of slightly bitter and medicinal licorice from the nose along with pepper black fruit on the palate. Integrated acids and ripe tannins lend this a smooth but not seamless feel in the mouth. Black tea and spice shows up on the backend along with lovely blackberry flavors that are not terribly long lived. A bit short on the minty finish though with some nice mineral accents and a mouth watering finale. Complex, nuanced and elegant though a bit shy on fruit, not that that is necessarily a bad thing. 89pts
Previously available for $15.00
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2 Paringa Shiraz (2013)
Comments: Attractively perfumed on the nose with floral aromas of violet and white flowers leading to measured tones of cocoa and vanilla, some dried herbal notes, hints of roast beef and black berry fruit. Rich, a touch chewy, but fresh in the mouth with a gentle softness that makes this both bold and yet supple in the mouth. the flavors are a touch muddy, still rich with dark cherry and plummy fruit but muddled with macerated herbal notes and beefy extract. the finish really pops with savory, earthy fruit that shows impressive persistence. A bit dense for my palate but there is no denying the quality here. Lots of savory, almost black olivy notes and hints of sun dried tomatoes emerge to frame the fruit on the palate. 88pts
Average price: $11.99 from 1 store
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3 Andrew Murray Syrah Tous les Jours Santa Ynez Valley (2012)
Comments: Intense and complex on the nose with cracked black pepper, violet, roasted beef, hints of mushroom and root beer and a lovely, funky, gamy base notes. Bright on entry even if this lacks a touch of acids. A fairly big wine with wonderfully fresh flavors of black fruit, hints of currants and plums, with savory almost peppery accent notes and deep savory, green olive and green cardamom pod nuance on the palate. This is fairly seamless and while fruit driven not fruity per se. The tannins really refresh the palate and the wine shows fine length on the subtly spicy and persistently fruity in that gamy sort of way that Syrah sticks around on the palate. This fills the mouth and while it’s big it’s not terribly weighty, though it does need some pretty intense foods to pair with it. With this delicate yet intense fruit I’d love to try this with my stand-by Pinot ready Salmon dish, roasted with sundried tomatoes and chipotles. 88pts
Average price: $14.95 from 1 store
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4 Penfolds Shiraz Koonunga Hill South Australia (2012)
Comments: Decidedly violet toned on the nose with a touch of passionfruity spiciness accenting the pepper core of black plum and basalt toned nose that gains vanilla and smoke top notes with air. fascinating in the mouth. texturally this is smooth and almost a bit dull on the palate with a base of woody, nutty flavors that keeps this low on the palate but at the same time there are those lovely hints of violets here, flashes of coffee beans, and wild blackberry flavors that pop on the palate. This finishes decidedly on the fresher side of the wine, with fine grained tannins lingering on the palate but plenty of fresh and spicy plummy fruit laced with wood spice covering them. A little like drinking two wines at once but in the end this is kind of delicious. 87pts
Average price: $11.99 from 2 stores
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5 St Kilda Shiraz (2012)
Comments: Brushy and slightly herbal on the nose with faint aromas of red fruits and smoky oak lending this some aromatic complexity. A touch sweet at first, then quite bright and rather lightly textured in the mouth. this is a decidedly fresh and juicy Shiraz with red fruit, cafe au lait notes from the oak, and all that brushy herbal goodness from the nose coming together on the palate. It’s easy to drink but not facile, with small but angular tannins underpinning the palate and that juicy acidity refreshing the palate through the modest and everso slightly minty finish. A great wine for a party, this is easy to drink and yet attractive on the palate as well with some tarry accents emerging on the slightly bitter and dark cherry fruited finish. 87pts
Previously available for $10.69
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6 Jacob's Creek Reserve Shiraz (2010)
Comments: Snowing some evolution on the nose this reveals hints of tobacco quite quickly followed by white floral notes, hints of cedar, some soil tones, a hint of rare beef and slightly stewy strawberry and black cherry fruits. Smooth in the mouth and quite polished with supple tannins and acidity that just barely peeks out through the delicate gauze of wild cherry and tobacco flavors. With a bit of air this gains additional freshness and reveals some more floral toned aromas in the mouth along with a lovely plummy/blackberry pie note that carries on the surprisingly long finish. the alcohol is just a hint noticeable on the finish but it doesn’t detract here. Rather refined and elegant. 87pts
Average price: $10.84 from 68 stores
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7 Santa Carolina Syrah Reserva Rapel Valley Chile (2011)
Comments: Herbaceous and deep on the nose with slight hints of green olives and green peppercorns lingering under the core of black currant fruit, Pungent, savory, and yet attractive. A touch of fleshiness in the mouth tautly covers the tannic structure here and while the acids are not really noticeable they are sufficient to keep the black cherry, canned black olive and thyme flavors fresh on the palate. This is a bit of a brooding wine, folded in on itself a bit and showing fine length on the finish where a hint of vanilla accentuates the earthy black fruit and plum skin flavors. Not quite refined, this nonetheless offers very good value. 87pts
Previously available for $12.00
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