The Northern Rhône is the paradigm here, to judge by this wine’s dry density, seriousness and its white-pepper aroma. It’s full and rich on the palate, with fine blackberry, cherry, cocoa and oak flavors. Really quite fabulous in all respects. Best now for its flamboyant youthfulness and intensity.— S.H.
In Lodi the grapes got enough sun and heat to get nice and ripe. The flavors are explosive with complex tropical fruit, wildflower, sweet fig, wild honey and vanilla flavors, to name a few. A crisp spine of acidity provides good structure. This classy wine, for all its flavor, is balanced and elegant.— S.H.
This wine is almost over the top. If it had any more ripe, jammy fruit, it would be. As it is, it’s balanced enough in tannins and acids so that the flood of blackberry pie and mocha flavors go only so far before dryness and structure kick in to check. Those tannins are a modern-day wonder, ripe, sweet and sturdy.— S.H.
Not over the top like so many others, but keeps its lively menagerie of tropical fruit, vanilla, wildflower and oak flavors controlled by crisp acidity. A pretty lime-and-honeysuckle flavor lasts forever on the finish.— S.H.
There’s a density and chalky texture to this wine that make it very full-bodied. It sinks into the palate, carried by the weight of the tannins and the sweet ripeness of the dark stone fruits. At the same time, it’s properly dry. An excellent Syrah, and another testament to how good wines from Lodi can be.— S.H.
Shows how far winemakers have come with this variety. All the exotic flavors you expect are there, from citrus through white peach, apricot and honeysuckle, but the wine is well balanced.— S.H.
From an emerging northeast corner of Lodi that will probably get its own appellation, this dark, dense wine brings to mind the Syrahs of southern Monterey County. Exceedingly ripe, with sweet blackberry, tobacco, plum and chocolate notes, it’s very dry, and the tannins are soft. Doesn’t seem likely to age. Try with…— S.H.
A very nice example of this experimental variety in California. It’s very dry, with an enticing dustiness that carries subtle flavors of cherries. The tannins are soft and easy, yet complex, and turn grippy on the finish. A fine interpretation of this Spanish grape.— S.H.