From the cold, windy Petaluma Gap, the 2012 Syrah Griffin's Lair used 80% stems and is co-fermented with 12% Viognier. A dead-ringer for a great Cote Rotie because of the Viognier component and cooler site, it exhibits fragrant notes of spring flowers, apricot marmalade, jammy black currants and cherries as well as hints of spice box and vanilla. Ripe, full-bodied, unctuously textured and gorgeously long and pure, this is a terrific offering from a vineyard with a long history of turning out top-flight Syrahs for different winemakers. One of my favorite sites is Mendocino's Alder Springs Vineyard.
Author: Robert Parker
International Wine Cellar | Rating: 93
Inky ruby. Deeply pitched black and blue fruit aromas are complemented by black cardamom and violet pastille. Spicy, smoke-tinged boysenberry and cherry compote flavors stain the palate, with a zesty mineral element contributing verve. The floral note returns emphatically on the spice-driven, persistent finish, which is framed by smooth, harmonious tannins.
Author: Josh Raynolds
Issue: May/June 2014
Wine Spectator | Rating: 92
Offers purity of flavor, with a firm, rigid backbone of loamy earth and chewy tannins, complemented by a wild savory side. Blackberry, black licorice, dill, anise and cedar notes form the core. Ends with rich, gravelly tannins.