Perhaps my favorite grand cru site for Central Coast Syrah is the James Berry Vineyard, which is planted in pure limestone soil on the west side of Paso Robles. Seventy-five percent whole clusters are used. The riveting, opaque purple-tinged 2004 Syrah James Berry Vineyard displays a sumptuous bouquet of scorched earth, blackberries, cassis, tar, and licorice. It cuts a full-bodied swath across the palate with multiple layers of flavor, a huge texture, and fabulous freshness as well as vibrancy, no doubt because of the limestone soils. (RP)
Good bright medium ruby. Pungent aromas of black cherry, black raspberry and pepper, with a slightly raw note from the stems (this was vinified with 50% whole clusters). Dense and minerally, with a nicely restrained sweetness; not at all over the top in spite of its 14.8% alcohol, the highest of the Copain syrahs in vintage '04. Finishes broad and peppery, with substantial but ripe tannins. (ST)
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2013 Solomon Hills "Solomon Hills Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay (Previously $40)