2016 Halcón "Alturas" Yorkville Highlands Syrah (Previously $30) SKU #1357475

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JD 93-95 RP 94 WE 93
VN 92
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Professional Reviews

K&L Notes

From Wine Advocate: "Perched high in the Yorkville Highlands at 2,500 feet, Halcón vineyard is one of the highest vineyards in California, its thin topsoil covering fractured shale and schist bedrock. Densely planted and subject to strong oceanic breezes, in Paul Gordon's hands this site naturally produces fabulous Syrahs with tension, energy and character that recall the Northern Rhône's best. Winemaking features significant percentages of whole cluster fermentation and low percentages of new oak—a regimen that will be familiar to anyone who follows producers such as Allemand, Gonon or Jamet. Note that it wouldn't be possible to produce super-ripe, dramatic Syrah in this site, so while these wines offer plenty of crunchy upfront fruit and don't lack any concentration, this isn't the address to come to in search of unctuousness and weight."

Staff Reviews

  • James Bradshaw
    By: James Bradshaw
    K&L Staff Member
    With a deep garnet rim and dark purple center, you can tell from the color alone that this is going to be a powerful, concentrated red. The nose is a heady melange of wet stone, ripe red fruits, and raspberry coulis. These flavors are very much repeated on the palate with added touches of blueberry liqueur, Asian spice, saddle leather, black peppercorn, and cedar. Lush and inviting on the front, the mouthfeel becomes more grippy towards the finish thanks to some nicely integrated, powdery tannins. This 2016 is an utter delight in every possible way. While there is ample power, everything remains well in check. Evenly balanced, with great richness and depth, it's easy to see why the critics are drawing parallels to top-tier Northern Rhône reds. This is an excellent bottle to enjoy now, but there's enough structure here to warrant another 10 to 15 years of aging. Halcón is clearly on a roll and this is one wine you don't want to miss.
  • Jim Boyce
    By: Jim Boyce
    K&L Staff Member
    We couldn't be happier seeing these delicious Halcon wines net some solid press recognition recently! Their wines have continued to impress since the first 2009 vintage graced the K&L shelves. This 2016 shows gorgeous aromatics of violets, blue fruits, and fresh grilled meats. Brambly black and blue fruits, bacon fat, black pepper, an broad tanin finish stand out on an incredibly structured palate that, while rich, never goes overboard into too ripe or cloying territory. There is a ton of aging potential in this wine if you can hold off.
  • Stephanie Vidales
    By: Stephanie Vidales
    K&L Staff Member
    The previous vintage of this Syrah from Halcon was stunning, but this 2016 ​is even better. This Syrah has 50% stem inclusion, and also has 3% of Viognier​ co-fermented to give it a beautiful floral lift. There's complexity and balance in this wine with expressed notes of violets, red and black fruit, exotic spice and dried herbs. It's full-bodied with nice structure, so there's definitely aging potential in this Syrah. All this for 30 bucks? You can't go wrong.
  • Ryan Woodhouse
    By: Ryan Woodhouse
    K&L Staff Member
    One of the finest examples of this varietal to grace our shelves here at K&L. This is a truly spectacular expression of Syrah regardless of place or price point. The purest nose of crushed violets, mulberry, seared steak and ground spices. On the palate the wine is beautifully focused, elegant and vibrant. The tannins are notable but not at all aggressive or astringent, instead they are perfectly refined to give length and grip that will assure a long life. With time in the glass the wine unfurls showing off layer after layer of black and blue fruits, exotic spices, floral high tones and meaty, smokey bass notes. The real deal. I'm so glad to see the folks at Halcon getting the critical acclaim they have long deserved.
  • Gary Norton
    By: Gary Norton
    K&L Staff Member
    Halcon has been on a qualitative roar for some time now and this bottling is no different. With qualities akin to top-vintage Cote Rotie or Hermitage, it boasts massive concentration, great purity of fruit and full-bodied richness - all for less than thirty bucks. Dried violets, game, black olives, blackberries and hints of leather, this one truly has it all. Pull the cork tonight or let it develop for a decade plus - totally up to you.
  • Ryan Moses
    By: Ryan Moses
    K&L Staff Member
    We've been big fans of Paul Gordon and Scott Shapley for a while now, and the last few vintages of their Alturas Syrah have been nothing short of thrilling. Now professional reviewers Jeb Dunnuck and William Kelley are singing their praise with every new publication, including endless comparisons to Northern Rhone all-stars. These wines are not long for this kind of ridiculously low price. Aromatics include deep blackberry, black pepper, and braising herbs. The palate is pure and focused with cool dark red and black fruits, cured meats, and a spicy finish. Texturally pure and balanced, it has a very unique old-world reserve and will be fascinating to visit over the upcoming years. If you can resist, hold for a few years and drink for the following fifteen.


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