An amazing Syrah from one of our favorite producers in the Santa Barbara Wine Country! Rusack is on fire, and this Syrah is one of the best under $30 we've found this year.
91 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "There are two Syrah releases. The Rusack Syrah (which includes 9% Petite Sirah) reveals a deep ruby/purple color as well as a ripe, sexy, opulent style in its black raspberry, blackberry, olive, and bacon fat-laced aromas and flavors. It's ripe, medium to full-bodied, and balanced, with terrific purity of fruit. Drink it over the coming 4-5 years."
91 Points Wine Enthusiast: "Boysenberry-compote, roasted pork, dried beef, lavender and white-pepper aromas show on the nose of this estate bottling, which includes 15% Petite Sirah. Roasted meat and berry flavors are lifted by salt and pepper spice on the palate, with coffee and caramel emerging toward the finish."
The grapes for the Rusack Ballard Canyon Estate Syrah release are from the vineyards around the winery, located in beautiful Ballard Canyon. Situated in the larger Santa Ynez Valley appellation, Ballard Canyon has its own nuances and micro-climates that make it a near-perfect place for Rhone grape varietals such as Syrah. This bottling contains classic Ballard Canyon aromas of cassis and blackberry, with hints of licorice. Concentrated flavors of dried cherries, blackberries and cocoa mix with velvety tannins that linger on the palate.
A fantastic red from Bedrock winemaker Morgan-Twain Peterson, one of the hottest young winemakers in California.
90 Points Robert Parker "Best Buy": "A Mediterranean blend of Zinfandel, Carignan, Alicante Bouchet, Syrah and assorted mixed blacks fermented with native yeasts and aged in primarily neutral containers (15% in new French oak), it is a California version of a high-class Cotes du Rhone. Lots of berry fruit intermixed with lavender, pepper and meaty black cherry and black currant flavors emerge from this satisfying, round, expansive, generous red. An outstanding, killer value that should provide pleasure over the next 1-2 years. If there is a better value in California wine, I would like to know about it."
....Morgan Twain-Peterson is one of the most impressive young winemakers I have ever met, and it’s not just because he grew up the son of a famous producer. Making wines at this level requires talent, passion, hard work and a great palate, none of which is easily inherited. Along with Mike Officer of Carlisle, Twain-Peterson is on a mission to rediscover what he calls California’s old-vine “heritage” vineyards. These historic sites planted by California’s early immigrants, often home to unknown field blends, remain some of the most fascinating vineyards in California. Officer and Twain-Peterson were tired of seeing these old sites gobbled up by industrial-scale wineries, so they decided to do something about it. Bravo."
New York Times: "This red blend is a perpetually excellent value from Bedrock Wine Company which makes a wide variety of terrific, unmanipulated wines from old California vineyards. The array of groups includes zinfandel, carignan, syrah and petite sirah, and vintages are mixed as well, a welcome tactic. The result is an easygoing, lively wine that is delicious and versatile. Too often, inexpensive California reds are inflated with oak flavorings and other enhancements intended to imitate the characteristics of more expensive wines. Not this one, and it makes you think about how good these humble wines could be if other producers would permit them the dignity of authenticity."
An amazing value from the South of France - hurry!
95 Points Decanter: "60% Syrah, 40% Grenache. Lovely rich opulent and floral, black berry and plum nose, the palate is big with well layered fruit, attractively firm but soft tannin and hints of oak, a big wine with a lovely finish. *Gold Medal Winner Decanter Asia Wine Awards.*
Robert Parker: "A blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Grenache, the Cotes du Rhone Saint-Esprit is a screaming value. If offers bold black cherry and blueberry fruit aromas, lively fruit flavors, silky tannins and a crisp, lengthy mocha-tinged finish. Drink this fun, bouncy little wine over the next couple of years."