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Ringing in the New Year with Parker Scores on 2011 Wines
JC Cellars' Ringing in the New Year with more scores on the 2011 wines with reviews from Robert Parker!  Words From The Man Himself:       Jeff Cohn, one of my favorite winemakers, consistently fashions personality-filled, pleasurable wines from well-known s...

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Tasting Notes Archive

2001 Ventana Vineyards Syrah

"Ventana Vineyards is one of the very few locations where the old-world pre-phylloxera vinifera grapevine thrives. They have learned over a number of years that they must match certain varieties to certain soil characteristics. The Syrah clone known as Chapoutier or Estrella (depending on the grower and which nursery they obtained it from) produces a very small berry in the Ventana terroir, and therefore the skin-to-juice ratio is higher resulting in wines that have more depth and saturated color. We used eight different French oak Burgundy style barrels (70% new) with medium plus to heavy toast during the aging process to complement one of the most seductive wines we produce."  -Jeff Cohn

Tasting Notes

Opaque purple in color with aromas of roasted herbs, smoked game, blackberries, cassis, black pepper, lavender and violets. A bit of the Northern Rhône with a twist of California and a little touch of JC Cellars, this elegant wine is perfect with braised meats, smoked game and triple cream cheeses.

Varietals: 100% Syrah
Appellation: Monterey
Alcohol: 14.1%

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  90 points Connoisseurs' Guide - 2007 Ventana Vineyards Syrah - Arroyo Grande

Very much in the JC Cellars fold insofar as ripeness and richness are concerned, the Ventana bottling is a powerful, full-bodied Syrah whose generous blackberry fruit is infused with plenty of pepper and briary spice.  It sports sufficient substance to buffer its noticeable heat, and, while it is fairly tough and a long way from being refined, it has all of the pieces to grow for five to ten years.

JC CELLARS 2006 Ventana Vineyards Syrah  Arroyo Seco Score: 93 | $30

Firm, grapey wild berry and raspberry join pepper, spice, mineral and cedar in a full-bodied expression of Syrah, with hints of pepper, bay leaf, black licorice and mineral. Firms up nicely on the finish. Drink now through 2014. 321 cases made. –JL

Winemaker Jeff Cohn's various red wines are always appointed with extra measures of ripeness, fruity extract and rich oak, and, while this substantial Syrah bottling is very much a case in point, it exhibits exemplary balance and is never less than keenly varietal in scent and taste. Its temperate tannins lend structural spine without fighting against fruit, and its lengthy finish holds on to the very deep mix of ripe berries and peppery spice that marks this one a solid success.
This wine breaks away from the overripe/oaky model and finds greater amounts of spice, herbs, and smoke in its mix while also delivering an insistent line of fruit that never quits from front to back. Its slight turn to herbs in the nose is echoed in its finishing narrowness and in touches of dried bark and leaves. Far less of a bruiser, this one has interest aplenty on its side and, while some will find quibbles in its "green" notes, others will find refreshing complexity and a lighter hand.
This wine offers a heady mix of stewed beef and tomatoes, basil and bay leaf, along with sage and white peppers, which become the dominant flavor. Drink now through 2008.
From a more northern, cool climate site, this dense ruby/purple-colored wine, harvested on November 1st, emerges from sandy/loamy soils. Floral scents intermixed with aromas of black fruits, pepper, earth, and underbrush are followed by a sleek, medium-bodied, nicely concentrated mouthfeel, sweet tannin, and an attractive, long finish. Enjoy it over the next 5-6 years. 
Dark and plush, filling out the palate with rich plum, blackberry, chocolate and white peper, beef and leather notes that are intense, concentrated and long on the finish. Drink now through 2009.
Sweet oak perfumes overlie a wealth of juicy blackberry fruit in the ripe and lightly peppery nose of this full-scaled young Syrah, and that same fruit is the confident centerpiece of the wine's broad and very well filled flavors. Fairly fat and fleshy with certain palatal plumpness, it is relatively tame in tannins and finishes with a lengthy aftertaste of berries and very sweet oak. So rich as to tempt near term drinking, it will age by dint of balance rather than brawn and should only get better for a half dozen years.