2004 Pax - Syrah Obsidian 750ml

USA - California - Sonoma - Knights Valley/ Red / Syrah   |     Watch

IWC 89?  
2004 Pax - Syrah Obsidian  Front View
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Professional Reviews For This Wine


International Wine Cellar | Rating: 89?

($45) Deep ruby-red. Wild, meaty aromas of jammy berries, menthol and roasted herbs; distinctly Northern Rhone-like. Powerful verging on aggressive, with jammy dark fruit and shoe polish flavors and almost painful tannins. The crushed dark berry flavors turn a bit dry and edgy on the finish. Ultimately a wine of limited nuance, despite the tiny crop level. Mahle admitted that these vines, planted on volcanic rock, produced too much desiccated, high-alcohol fruit in the heat of 2004 (2002, 2003 and 2005 were more successful here) and that most of it was declassified.

Author: Stephen Tanzer
Issue: Issue 126

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Average rating: 89, based on 1 reviews
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Collector Data For This Wine

243 bottles owned by 86 collectors.

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About This Producer


Pax Mahle produced a wide selection of vineyard-designate Syrahs from Northern California under this label for many years before leaving to begin another project, Wind Gap. Under the Pax label, he utilized indigenous fermentations, minimal handling, unobtrusive use of French oak and bottling without filtering or fining. Great care was always taken in the vineyards to produce the best fruit possible by maintaining the vines on an individual basis and ensuring low yields. In addition to many Syrahs, Pax also produced several white wines including Roussanne, Viognier, and a white blend. In 2009, with the departure of Mahle, the brand was re-named Donelan Wines.

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See other similar producers: Amuse Bouche, Scholium Project, Turley Wine Cellars

Wine Varietal: Syrah


While the rest of the world is calling it "Syrah," Australia and South Africa stick to "Shiraz," their name for the same grape. Previously it was thought that the name Shiraz originated from a city in Persia where the Syrah grape was believed to have originated. Recently U.S. and French researchers demystified the name debate when they discovered that the Syrah grape was indigenous to France. Intense, robust and sometimes referred to as "manly," Syrah grows principally in the Northern Rhone. The spicy, peppery grape also grows abundantly in Australia, South Africa, and California, where it takes on a softer, thicker character than its French version. Typical descriptors for Syrah include blackberry, dark chocolate, mint, eucalyptus, smoked meat, black pepper, liquorice, and cloves.

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