The 2009 Syrah Altamont is another classy wine. It boasts tremendous depth and richness with a bit more structure than the Goldridge, although it is built along similar lines. Intense floral notes, licorice, new leather and black olives wrap around the fruit on the finish. This is another terrific showing. The 2009 is the first Syrah Estate to carry the Altamont vineyard designation, although previous years have also been made from this site. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024. I tasted a large number of wines with Tom and Eva Dehlinger, including several older wines, all of which have held up beautifully. These remain some of the most fairly priced wines in California. (AG)
Inky purple. A heady bouquet evokes dark berry preserves, incense, Indian spices and candied violet, with a bright mineral topnote. Palate-staining blackberry and blueberry flavors are lifted by nervy mineral and spice notes, showing outstanding vivacity and clarity. Pure, energetic and sweet on the finish, which clings with superb tenacity. (ST)
Fairly high in ripeness and very high in Syrahs' meaty, gamy side, this generous wine will never be mistaken for a shy violet, but that is its strength. With a full load of blackberry fruit, graphitey minerality and black pepper seasoning to go with the rest of its well-spoken personality, this bottling may not be for the faint of heart but so too is it a bit better balanced than its even bigger mate below. It is wholly capable of aging for years to come, and it is likely to find a touch of refinement as the prize for those who show a half decade of patience. *Two Stars*
Trim and focused, with spicy anise, dried berry, cedar and crushed rock. A measured, well-proportioned style that ends with a delicate black licorice edge. (JL, Web Only-2013)
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