JC CELLARS Smoke & Mirrors California 2011Score: 90 | $25
A fun quaff, zesty and jammy, but focused and restrained. This is loaded with black raspberry, toasty vanilla, licorice and bitter chocolate flavors. Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah and Grenache. Drink now through 2020. 600 cases made.
"This is our third year producing wine from this vineyard. This steep hillside vineyard on Atlas Peak Road overlooks Napa Valley and will remind you of the Northern Rhone. A beautiful vineyard that is surrounded by olive trees, herbs de Provence and lavender. This wine was aged in three new heavy toasted Burgundy shaped barrels." -Jeff Cohn
Deep, dark and mysterious are only a few of the words one could use to describe this incredible concentrated wine that has both the aromatic and flavor profile of wild blackberry jam, lavender, smoked game, rosemary, minerals and olives.
Flamboyant notes of tapenade, smoked meats, blackberry liquer,
plums, and a hint of balsam emerge from this beautiful Syrah. Although
it was aged in 100% new French oak, the wine has sucked up the wook as
if it had never existed. Unbelievably rich, full-bodied, and
harmonious, it pushes the envelope on all levels. Drink this big,
pedal-to-the-metal Syrah over the next 10-12 years.
Intense and distinctive, with loads of spice and pepper. Rich and
fleshy on the palate, with ripe plum, currant and wild berry flavors
joining. Tannins are ripe and fleshy on a long finish. Drink now
From a steep, rocky, Napa vineyard, this wine has an opaque
saturated purple color in addition to a backward but promising nose of
smoke, blackberries, and spice. This closed Syrah requires considerable
aeration, but it is exceptionally concentrated, tannic, and among the
most primordial wines of this portfolio. Give it 2-3 years of bottle
age, and drink it over the following 10-12 years.
Medium-dark purplish ruby; attractive, forward, intense, jammy,
peppery, dark currant and blackberry fruit aroma with notes of charred
oak; full body; big, dense, herbal, jammy, viscous, mouth-filling, very
concentrated, very ripe blackberry and sweet raspberry fruit flavors
with overtones of creamy oak; full tannin; hard finish; lingering
aftertaste. Very highly recommended.
A big wine, that comes from rocky soils located at a 1.000 foot
elevation. Its blue/black color (reminiscent of vintage port) is
followed by a bouquet of mountain herbs intermixed with gamey scents
intertwined with blackberry, raspberry, and crushed rock-like
characteristics. It cuts a wide swath across the palate, revealing a
seamless integration of wood, acidity, tannin, and alcohol as well as a
blockbuster finish. This exotic beast is surprisingly accessible, but
promises to be even better in another 2-3 years. It should last for
A beefy, spicy, densely flavored style, with stewed plum, wild
berry, exotic spices and toasty oak that isn't overdone, but ideally
integrated. Shows spicy cola and pretty wood shadings on a finish that
soars. Drink now through 2009.
Another gorgeous offering, the 2001 Philary Vineyard Syrah reveals
an inky/purple color as well as aromas of ink, smoke, and black fruits.
This dense, full-bodied, chewy, huge, thick, impressive Syrah should
drink well for 10-12 years.
The most concentrated is the Amarone-like 2000 Syrah Philary
Vineyard. This huge, brooding effort offers a mouthful of black fruits
intermixed with smoke, earth, and licorice. Powerful, dense, and chewy,
with excellent purity, it is a substantial Syrah from this light
vintage. Drink it over the next 7-8 years.
Dark purplish ruby; very attractive, intense, plumy, jammy, peppery,
very ripe blackberry fruit aroma; full body; big, dense, highly
extracted, peppery, jammy, slightly sweet, very ripe black cherry and
blackberry fruit flavors; full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Needs
several more years of bottle aging to resolve the tannin. Very highly
This dense, big bodied bottling wanders perilously close to ripeness
and comes up a little too hot for its own good. Its finishing heat
noted, it is still an exotic, concentrated, many layered wine whose
impressions of plums, pepper, loamy soil and chocolate make for a most
fascinating drink that will hit its peak in three to four years.