The 1,080 case 2013 Syrah Patrina, which is the entry level Syrah, sees a higher temperature during fermentation and roughly 20 days on skins, with periodic punch downs. Aged 22 months in two-thirds new French oak, it trumps most estates grand vin. Showing the forward, plush, sweetly fruited style of all of the 2013s here, with notes of smoked meats, violets, caramelized black cherries and cassis, with its oak component pushed all the way into the background, drink this full-bodied, pure, seamless Syrah through 2023. After the cool, and then cold, 2010 and 2011 vintages, 2012 through 2014 is a return to the more generous, layered and voluptuous style of wine that this estate is known for. Looking at the 2013s, this was a more elegant and firm vintage for most of the State, yet these wines from John are loaded with fruit and texture, with incredible polish, ripeness and sweetness to their tannin. While they were mostly tasted from barrel, they're already hard to resist and should drink nicely in their youth. (JD)
Opaque purple. Smoke-accented black and blue fruits and a hint of violet on the fragrant nose. Gently sweet and expansive in the mouth, offering juicy blackberry and boysenberry flavors sharpened by a jolt of cracked pepper. Shows impressive energy and spicy thrust on the very long, supple finish, which features fine-grained tannins and a touch of bitter chocolate. There are 1,800 cases of this wine to go around, and the price makes it a solid value for those wanting to get an idea of what the fuss is about for this iconic New World Rhône variety specialist. (JR)
Complex and powerfully built, with distinctive blackberry and smoky meat aromas and layered, fairly dense flavors of dark plum, licorice and grilled herb that linger toward ripe tannins. (TF)
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