Tasting Report: Rhone Rangers 2010

I’ve been going to the Rhone Rangers wine event — a celebration of syrah and Rhone-style wines from the U.S. — for as long as I can remember. This year the event was smaller, missing a few of my usual haunts, but packed with plenty of interesting wines, some from producers I’d never encountered before. All in all I discovered numerous exceptional Rhone-style wines, including an intense blend from L’Aventure, a pair of perfectly balanced syrahs from Pride Mountain, and Qupe’s limited release X-Block Syrah, not just my favorite wine of the day but also the most expensive, at a whopping $100 a bottle.

Complete ratings and notes follow.

Rhone Rangers 2010 Complete Tasting Report

2008 Arnot-Roberts Syrah Clary Ranch / $38 / C

2005 Bink Syrah Hawks Butte Vineyard / $25 / B- / harsh

2008 Calcareous Vineyard White Blend / $28 / B+

2006 Calcareous Vineyard Syrah Paso Robles / $34 / B / jammy

2007 Calcareous Vineyard Red Blend Tres Violet / $38 / B+

2008 Caliza White Blend Kissin Cousins / $28 / B-

2008 Caliza Red Blend Azimuth / $48 / B

2006 Domaine Serene Syrah Rockblock Reserve / $40 / A- / cocoa inflected

2005 Domaine Serene Syrah Del Rio / $45 / B / too dry

2008 Edward Sellers White Blend Estate Blanc / $35 / A-

2007 Edward Sellers Mourvedre / $45 / B+

2007 Edward Sellers Red Blend Le Thief / $35 / A- / nicely fruity

2007 Edward Sellers Red Blend Vertigo / $35 / B+ / old world, meaty style

2007 Eric Kent Syrah Kalen’s Big Boy Blend / $40 / A- / herbal

2007 Eric Kent Syrah Dry Stack Vineyard / $40 / A-

2008 Eric Kent Syrah Kalen’s Big Boy Blend / N/A / A- / distinctive fig character

2008 Eric Kent Syrah Dry Stack Vineyard / N/A / B+ / thinner, olive notes

2006 Folin Estate Syrah / $30 / A-

2007 Four Vines Syrah Paso Robles / $25 / A-

2007 Four Vines Syrah Bailey Vineyard Amador / $25 / B-

2008 Four Vines Peasant Paso Robles / $40 / B+

2008 Four Vines Anarchy Paso Robles / $40 / A-

2008 Four Vines Heretic Petite Sirah / $40 / A-

2007 Four Vines Petite Sirah Paso Robles / $18 / B+

2007 Four Vines Syrah Santa Barbara County / $18 / A-

2007 Four Vines Phoenix / $40 / A-

2006 Harrison Clarke Estate Syrah / $32 / C+

2006 JC Cellars Syrah Ventana Vineyard / $30 / B+

2006 JC Cellars Syrah Stagecoach Vineyard / $60 / A- / big cherry notes

2006 JC Cellars Syrah Rockpile Vineyard / $60 / B

2009 Lagier Meredith Rose of Syrah Mount Veeder / $20 / C

2007 Lagier Meredith Syrah Mount Veeder / $48 / B+ / thin

2006 Lagier Meredith Syrah Mount Veeder / $48 / A-

2008 L’Aventure Estate Roussanne / $35 / B

2007 L’Aventure Red Blend Cote a Cote / $85 / A / huge, biggest wine of the event

2005 Martinelli Syrah Terra Felice / $45 / A-

2006 Martinelli Syrah Hop Camp Gravel Lens Vineyard / $75 / B+

2006 Martinelli Syrah Zio Tony Ranch / $75 / A-

2007 Novy Grenache Bennett Valley / $29 / A-

2007 Novy Syrah Santa Lucia Highlands / $27 / A- / nicely tart

2007 Novy Syrah Santa Lucia Highlands Rosella’s Vineyard / $33 / A

2007 Outpost Grenache Howell Mountain / $40 / B

2007 Outpost Petite Sirah Howell Mountain / $35 / A-

2007 Outpost Petite Sirah Howell Mountain “The Other” / $50 / B+

2008 Pride Mountain Viognier Sonoma County / $42 / A- / best white of the event

2007 Pride Mountain Syrah Sonoma County / $60 / A / chocolatey, with lovely balance

2006 Pride Mountain Syrah Sonoma County / $60 / A

2007 Prospect 772 Grenache The Brat / $36 / A- / balanced, nice

2007 Prospect 772 Syrah The Brawler / $36 / A- / tough but rich

2007 Qupe Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard / $30 / A

2007 Qupe Syrah Purisima Mountain Vineyard / $35 / A-

2006 Qupe Syrah Bien Nacido Hillside Estate / $45 / A-

2006 Qupe Syrah 25th Anniversary Bien Nacido X-Block / $100 / A / gorgeous

2008 Ridge Carignan Buchignani Ranch / N/A / B+

2006 Ridge Petite Sirah Dynamite Hill / N/A / B

2003 Ridge Syrah/Grenache Lytton Estate / $50 / B

2000 Ridge Syrah Lytton Estate / N/A / A- / perfumed

2006 Rocca Family Vineyards Syrah / $45 / A- / chocolate and berries

2008 Stage Left Cellars White Blend The Go Getter / $34 / A-

2009 Tablas Creek Rose / $27 / B

2008 Tablas Creek Red Blend Cotes de Tablas / $25 / A- / wonderful for this price

2007 Tablas Creek Red Blend Esprit de Beaucastel / $50 / A

2007 Tablas Creek Mourvedre / $35 / B+ / smoky

2007 Tablas Creek Grenache / $35 / B+ / sweeter style

2006 Tablas Creek Syrah / $35 / B

2007 Terry Hoage Red Blend The 46 / $45 / A- / herbal, balanced

2007 Unti Vineyards Grenache Dry Creek Valley / $30 / B+

2005 Unti Vineyards Syrah Benchland Dry Creek Valley / $35 / A- / meaty, earthy

2008 Ventana Rose / $18 / B

2006 Joseph Phelps Le Mistral / $45 / A-

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3 Responses to Tasting Report: Rhone Rangers 2010

  1. Thanks for the notes . . . but a bummer you didn’t get over to my table to try my tercero wines . . .

    Will you be attending HdR?!?!? I will also be pouring there – if so, please stop by and say hi!

    Cheers!

  2. Glad you liked The Brat and The Brawler. Rhone Rangers was fun!. See you next year!!

    Wendy Sanda

  3. Pingback: Terry Hoage Vineyards Rhone Blend Blocks

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