PICK of the RACK: Burgess Cellars | Syrah | Napa Valley | California | 2009 | $28 | 92 pts

C__Users_shendley_AppData_Local_Microsoft_Windows_Temporary Internet Files_ContentAromas:  dried dark fruits; black pepper; graphite; touch of smoke
Character: dry & full-bodied; extracted and intense; firm tannins; medium acids; mineral earthiness; toasty oak
Flavors:  black currant; dried dark fruit; black cherry cola; ground coffee; kalamata olive; sweet cured tobacco; hint of toasted pecans
Food Pairing:  sharp cheeses; steak; roasted meats; lamb and game dishes

In 1972, Tom Burgess purchased an old winery on the western slope of Howell Mountain, overlooking Napa Valley, when there were just a handful of wineries in the region.  Over the intervening years, as more and more wineries were built around and below him, Tom quietly transformed his little mountainside property into one of Napa Valley’s most respected artisanal producers of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah.  He prides himself on matching these varieties with his vineyards’ most suitable soil types, climate, and exposure.  Tom farms three hillside estate vineyards, and the fruit from these sites yields wines that are firmly structured, intensely flavorful, fruit-and-mineral complex, and ageworthy.  This Syrah exemplifies that style, offering earthy yet elegant aromas and flavors of black currants and dark fruit, coffee, tobacco, roasted nuts, and toasty oak.  There are some wisps of smoke and leather in the mix, as well, which hint of the Northern Rhone.  This 2009 Syrah is still young and firm, so decanting is a must at this point; but the wine will continue to unfold with ever more enjoyment over the next 5-10 years, or so.  Right now it pairs well with rich meat dishes — especially steak and game.

Availability:  Burgess produced 2,002 cases of the 2009 Syrah, and it can be found (or ordered through) fine wine merchants or directly from the winery at www.burgesscellars.com.

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2 Responses to PICK of the RACK: Burgess Cellars | Syrah | Napa Valley | California | 2009 | $28 | 92 pts

  1. Shannon Pentony says:

    Hi I just was introduced to this amazing wine by one of your distributors Amy at Tar and Wine in Santa Monica. Is there a way for me to purchase the Burgess Syrah 2009? I live in Las Vegas. Thank you so much!

    Shannon Pentony

    • Scott Hendley says:

      Hi Shannon. Thanks for your note. We are wine reviewers and not associated with Burgess Cellars (or any other winery), but I did check the winery’s website and you can still order the 2009 Syrah directly from them. Here’s the specific link: http://www.burgesscellars.com/Syrah If you want to try and find it in the Las Vegas area, go to http://www.wine-searcher.com and plug in the name of the wine, vintage, and location information to see if it’s available in a store near you. Good luck!

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