Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

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Nate M
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Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#1 Post by Nate M » April 19th, 2020, 11:39 am

Hello All! I am very new to WB and trying to get my bearings around here. Just a quick question:

In your opinion who is the foremost producer of Syrah on the west coast that is making wines like the Northern Rhone? I am getting into Syrah more and more and looking for something to buy year after year in order to really drill down on the varietal. I love the Northern Rhone stuff, but it is difficult to always find and/or afford.

Would love to find some producers that are secrets among all of you. Thanks in advance!

If you are wondering what I typically drink, I live in the foothills and so have quite a bit of ZIN. I am a wine club member at 4 wineries. Ridge Vineyards, Andrew Will, Newsome-Harlow, and Sobon/Shenandoah Vineyards. I would say that 1/2 the wine I drink is from those 4 producers. I love the Ridge Syrahs and want to get into more stuff like it. I buy crozes-hermitage, st. joseph, and cote-rotie when I find deals. Thanks again!

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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#2 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » April 19th, 2020, 11:43 am

Oh my, that’s an easy one, at least for my Franco-inspired yak palate:

https://www.halconvineyards.com/

Excellent, higher elevation vineyard, and simple winemaking practices (i.e., not heavy-handed). I’m a Northern Rhone fanatic, and this is one of the few new world syrahs that I buy.

Welcome to the boards!
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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#3 Post by Mattstolz » April 19th, 2020, 11:47 am

there's a lot of really great options out there. Arnot Roberts does a great job, Pax and Wind Gap do really well. Piedrasassi makes some tasty ones. Enfield does well with just about every variety they make. Morgon and Chris at Bedrock do a great job, but I'm not sure I would say they're exactly N Rhone style like some of the others are, but definitely leans that way when compared to shiraz

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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#4 Post by Sean_S » April 19th, 2020, 11:54 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
April 19th, 2020, 11:43 am
Oh my, that’s an easy one, at least for my Franco-inspired yak palate:

https://www.halconvineyards.com/

Excellent, higher elevation vineyard, and simple winemaking practices (i.e., not heavy-handed). I’m a Northern Rhone fanatic, and this is one of the few new world syrahs that I buy.

Welcome to the boards!
Agreed. Can't think of a more rhone like California Syrah.

I also really enjoy Arcadian, Edmunds St Johns and the now-defunct Harrington Wines - McEvoy Ranch Syrah

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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#5 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » April 19th, 2020, 12:03 pm

Great call on Edmunds St Johns. I don’t know why I always forget about this producer, and then we I have one, always ask myself why I don’t buy more.
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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#6 Post by Kris Patten » April 19th, 2020, 12:22 pm

Well for all the Cali-fans, I'll counter with WA and add K Vintners, WT Vintners, Gramercy, and Betz.

Honestly, I don't think anyone on West Coast truly produces Syrah like Northern Rhone and they shouldn't, they should produce true to place and philosophy wines, just like the great diversity in Northern Rhone.
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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#7 Post by David B » April 19th, 2020, 12:24 pm

I would add Sandlands, although it's little harder to get.
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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#8 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » April 19th, 2020, 12:32 pm

Kris Patten wrote:
April 19th, 2020, 12:22 pm
Well for all the Cali-fans, I'll counter with WA and add K Vintners, WT Vintners, Gramercy, and Betz.

Honestly, I don't think anyone on West Coast truly produces Syrah like Northern Rhone and they shouldn't, they should produce true to place and philosophy wines, just like the great diversity in Northern Rhone.

I agree with that, I just interpret the question more to be what Cali syrah is a Northern Rhone fan most likely to appreciate.
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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#9 Post by Kris Patten » April 19th, 2020, 12:38 pm

Qupe is great value in CA too, as is Tablas Creek.
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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#10 Post by Glen Gold » April 19th, 2020, 12:42 pm

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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#11 Post by rsmithjr » April 19th, 2020, 12:54 pm

There are several great producers as noted above. Also Tensley Colson Canyon Syrah.
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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#12 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » April 19th, 2020, 12:55 pm

Halcon was my immediate thought. Some Arcadians, too, but they're freshly out-of-business.
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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#13 Post by J. Rock » April 19th, 2020, 1:06 pm

I don't know if it's the "best," but I really love Myriad's Syrahs for very great reasonably priced cool climate Syrahs.
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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#14 Post by PeterH » April 19th, 2020, 1:19 pm

Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:
April 19th, 2020, 12:55 pm
-- Some Arcadians, too, but they're freshly out-of-business.
What?
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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#15 Post by Robert Dentice » April 19th, 2020, 1:23 pm

One that never gets mentioned in the West Coast Syrah threads is Rhys. I love them. Are they still making them?
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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#16 Post by Mark E. » April 19th, 2020, 1:26 pm

Lots of good ones mentioned in this thread already, but my favorite is Benevolent Neglect.
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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#17 Post by jnbrown » April 19th, 2020, 1:33 pm

Piedrasassi
Holus Bolus (my vote for N Rhone)
Jaffurs
Melville
Samsara
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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#18 Post by Cody Rasmussen » April 19th, 2020, 1:40 pm

Lots of good folks mentioned here, and I too have Holus Bolus (and The Joy Fantastic) high on my list of favorite CA syrahs. Peter and Amy are making extraordinary wines, and they're ridiculously good values
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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#19 Post by PeterH » April 19th, 2020, 1:41 pm

New world Syrah is not my thing, but I'm surprised not to see Alban, Booker, or Saxum on anyone's list. For that matter Christophe Baron is missing too.
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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#20 Post by Jim Cowan » April 19th, 2020, 1:41 pm

Mattstolz wrote:
April 19th, 2020, 11:47 am
there's a lot of really great options out there. Arnot Roberts does a great job, Pax and Wind Gap do really well. Piedrasassi makes some tasty ones. Enfield does well with just about every variety they make. Morgon and Chris at Bedrock do a great job, but I'm not sure I would say they're exactly N Rhone style like some of the others are, but definitely leans that way when compared to shiraz
This pretty much hits my favorites.
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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#21 Post by Nate M » April 19th, 2020, 1:50 pm

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
April 19th, 2020, 11:43 am
Oh my, that’s an easy one, at least for my Franco-inspired yak palate:

https://www.halconvineyards.com/

Excellent, higher elevation vineyard, and simple winemaking practices (i.e., not heavy-handed). I’m a Northern Rhone fanatic, and this is one of the few new world syrahs that I buy.

Welcome to the boards!
I just ordered their Quarantine special!!! Have you had those ones?

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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#22 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » April 19th, 2020, 1:52 pm

Nate M wrote:
April 19th, 2020, 1:50 pm
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
April 19th, 2020, 11:43 am
Oh my, that’s an easy one, at least for my Franco-inspired yak palate:

https://www.halconvineyards.com/

Excellent, higher elevation vineyard, and simple winemaking practices (i.e., not heavy-handed). I’m a Northern Rhone fanatic, and this is one of the few new world syrahs that I buy.

Welcome to the boards!
I just ordered their Quarantine special!!! Have you had those ones?
That was my second order of the syrahs in like a month. Been drinking Paul’s syrah since his inaugural vintage, and they are getting better by the year.

The mourvedre was nice, but it’s not on the same level of the syrah. I have not yet tried the GSM blend.
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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#23 Post by Tom DeBiase » April 19th, 2020, 1:57 pm

Nate, if you like Northern Rhone continue to buy them as California syrah is certainly different. If you want to try some delicious California syrah that are balanced, fresh, little to no oak influence and moderate alcohol my choices would be:

Halcon, excellent syrah and great value
Edmunds St. John, Steve's syrah and other wines have stood the test of time. His 90's syrah are legend
Jolie-Laide, they make a "North Coast" value syrah which is excellent and a syrah from Halcon vineyard which is some of the best syrah you can find anywhere in the wine world. Had a 2015 last night I need to write up.

Tom

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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#24 Post by Juliec » April 19th, 2020, 2:02 pm

Peay. For those who like higher cooler elevation 100% Syrah. Also lower alcohol levels. My palate may be a little contrarian to the norm.
Last edited by Juliec on April 19th, 2020, 2:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#25 Post by Bryan Price » April 19th, 2020, 2:03 pm

Arcadian all the way. These wines are released with age on them.
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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#26 Post by Richard T r i m p i » April 19th, 2020, 2:06 pm

ESJ
Arnot Roberts

Best? I don't drink enough Syrah to claim expertise...but at this exact moment, I'm sipping on a 2016 Cabot Marier Syrah. John Cabot makes very solid value Syrah. Restrained, balanced, good tension and worth every penny. As a Berserker, you'll be making a serious mistake not to at least try some...especially, the value offers to the BB. More Crozes-Hermitage like than so many monstrous Parker-pointers of yesteryear.

I'm also partial to offerings from Goodfellow and Biggio-Hamina.

RT

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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#27 Post by Dennis Atick » April 19th, 2020, 2:07 pm

I'll just pile on and say what Ive said for years: Arcadian and Edmunds St John do it for me.

And a timely thread, as I dropped a 2013 Edmunds St John North Canyon Fenaughty and Barsotti into a decanter about 5 mins ago. [cheers.gif]
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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#28 Post by Nate M » April 19th, 2020, 2:09 pm

Thanks! I am slowly checking out all of these websites. Some I have heard of/had...a lot I have not. Thank you all for your responses. This place is great!

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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#29 Post by Richard T r i m p i » April 19th, 2020, 2:10 pm

Robert Dentice wrote:
April 19th, 2020, 1:23 pm
One that never gets mentioned in the West Coast Syrah threads is Rhys. I love them. Are they still making them?
Forgot these. Definitely worth a nod.

RT

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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#30 Post by Nate M » April 19th, 2020, 2:15 pm

Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:
April 19th, 2020, 12:55 pm
Halcon was my immediate thought. Some Arcadians, too, but they're freshly out-of-business.
I just tried to look them up as they are mentioned by a few of you. Yup, out of business...or at least no current website.

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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#31 Post by Rick Bollig » April 19th, 2020, 2:19 pm

Richard T r i m p i wrote:
April 19th, 2020, 2:06 pm
ESJ
Arnot Roberts

Best? I don't drink enough Syrah to claim expertise...but at this exact moment, I'm sipping on a 2016 Cabot Marier Syrah. John Cabot makes very solid value Syrah. Restrained, balanced, good tension and worth every penny. As a Berserker, you'll be making a serious mistake not to at least try some...especially, the value offers to the BB. More Crozes-Hermitage like than so many monstrous Parker-pointers of yesteryear.

I'm also partial to offerings from Goodfellow and Biggio-Hamina.

RT
I agree about the Cabot Syrah. I have purchased the aged 6-pack each of the past two BDs. Great value at $25/bottle.

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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#32 Post by brigcampbell » April 19th, 2020, 2:22 pm

Nate M wrote:
April 19th, 2020, 1:50 pm
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
April 19th, 2020, 11:43 am
Oh my, that’s an easy one, at least for my Franco-inspired yak palate:

https://www.halconvineyards.com/

Excellent, higher elevation vineyard, and simple winemaking practices (i.e., not heavy-handed). I’m a Northern Rhone fanatic, and this is one of the few new world syrahs that I buy.

Welcome to the boards!
I just ordered their Quarantine special!!! Have you had those ones?
Come and meet the owner/winemaker Paul for yourself on Thursday.

Doing a zoom for Rhone varieties
viewtopic.php?t=169031

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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#33 Post by Roger Ouellette » April 19th, 2020, 3:46 pm

Two of my all time favorites are the Sasha and the Calypso Vineyard syrah that Fred (Scherrer) makes.

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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#34 Post by Robert R » April 19th, 2020, 3:53 pm

Arcadian is not out of business. Their website, however, is.
You can reach them at:
joelle@arcadianwinery.com
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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#35 Post by Josh Grossman » April 19th, 2020, 4:07 pm

Donelan, Betz, Bedrock, Pax, Riverain, Arcadian, Copain, Force Majeure, and Myriad make up most of my holdings.

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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#36 Post by Blake Brown » April 19th, 2020, 4:10 pm

My immediate answer was Qupe and Jaffurs and then I remember both have been sold and the owners/ winemakers are really not all that engaged anymore. Bob Lindquist is now concentrating on his wines under Verdad & Lindquist Family Wines labels although he is still "consulting". Craig Jaffurs has pretty much retired altho he does some consulting for others and has a good friendships with the new owner. Nonetheless, both made some spectacular Syrahs under their namesake labels and there are numerous bottles around to still be had and enjoyed.
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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#37 Post by GregT » April 19th, 2020, 4:44 pm

Same with Wind Gap. Pax won't be making it any more

The OP didn't say what style he preferred - some of these are more N.Rhone - Halcon, ESJ, Wind Gap, Biggio Hamina (but no more), Baker Lane (all about bacon), Fogline and a few others. I love those.

Some are quite different but still good - Betz, Cayuse, Donelan. And some are big style and completely different - Alban, Saxum.
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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#38 Post by Blake Brown » April 19th, 2020, 4:46 pm

GregT wrote:
April 19th, 2020, 4:44 pm
Same with Wind Gap. Pax won't be making it any more

The OP didn't say what style he preferred - some of these are more N.Rhone - Halcon, ESJ, Wind Gap, Biggio Hamina (but no more), Baker Lane (all about bacon), Fogline and a few others. I love those.

Some are quite different but still good - Betz, Cayuse, Donelan. And some are big style and completely different - Alban, Saxum.
and don't forget SQN; maybe that falls into the category of the biggest style.
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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#39 Post by M. Dildine » April 19th, 2020, 4:49 pm

Lots of good syrah mentioned here. Not sure if Rhys (Horseshoe), Dehlinger or Scherrer have been mentioned.
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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#40 Post by Alan Rath » April 19th, 2020, 5:27 pm

Some I know and like:

Halcon
Lagier Meredith
Peay
Rhys
Pax (Hillsides the only recent one I’ve had)
Big Basin
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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#41 Post by Will Clements » April 19th, 2020, 5:40 pm

My household loves the Peay bottlings

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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#42 Post by John Glas » April 19th, 2020, 5:44 pm

Cayuse, Pax and Reynvaan, Saviah Cellars in the first round.
Arcadian and K Vintners in the second round.
Kevin White, Bedrock, Va Piano, and Two Vintners in round three.

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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#43 Post by John Glas » April 19th, 2020, 5:45 pm

Peay
Love their Pinots. Will have to seek out their Syrah's!

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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#44 Post by John Glas » April 19th, 2020, 5:46 pm

Arcadian is not out of business. Their website, however, is.
You can reach them at:
joelle@arcadianwinery.com

Why is their website down?

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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#45 Post by Will Clements » April 19th, 2020, 5:48 pm

John Glas wrote:
April 19th, 2020, 5:45 pm
Peay
Love their Pinots. Will have to seek out their Syrah's!
Highly recommend them.

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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#46 Post by Michael Martin » April 19th, 2020, 5:48 pm

jnbrown wrote:
April 19th, 2020, 1:33 pm
Piedrasassi
Holus Bolus (my vote for N Rhone)
Jaffurs
Melville
Samsara
We had a 2007 Jaffurs Verna’s vineyard tonight. OMG. Tar, leather, smoke.

To your list I would add Ojai.

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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#47 Post by Alan Rath » April 19th, 2020, 5:53 pm

John Glas wrote:
April 19th, 2020, 5:45 pm
Peay
Love their Pinots. Will have to seek out their Syrah's!
Please do, highly recommended.
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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#48 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » April 19th, 2020, 6:10 pm

Robert Dentice wrote:
April 19th, 2020, 1:23 pm
One that never gets mentioned in the West Coast Syrah threads is Rhys. I love them. Are they still making them?
Good call. I would have mentioned them had I remembered.
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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#49 Post by Alexander Smith » April 19th, 2020, 6:17 pm

Saxum, however since you say west coast...can I suggest Le Vieux Pin :)
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Re: Best Syrah Producer on West Coast

#50 Post by R Roberts » April 19th, 2020, 6:24 pm

Robert Dentice wrote:
April 19th, 2020, 1:23 pm
One that never gets mentioned in the West Coast Syrah threads is Rhys. I love them. Are they still making them?
Didn't see this answered- yes they are. You might be thinking of their Skyline Syrah that was ripped out to get replanted to pinot (I think), but they still make a syrah from another vineyard.
R.ama

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