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Tasting Report: Rhone Rangers 2010

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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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Christopher Null

Christopher Null is the creator and editor in chief of Drinkhacker.com, a veteran technology journalist, and the owner of Null Media, a custom blogging company.

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3 Comments

  1. larry schaffer March 31, 2010

    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!

    Reply
  2. Wendy Sanda March 31, 2010

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

    Wendy Sanda

    Reply

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