Syrah California Napa Valley Mendocino Red Wine
3 x 2008 Olson Ogden Alder Springs Vineyard Mendocino County Syrah
3 x 2008 Olson Ogden Stagecoach Vineyard Napa Valley Syrah
Olson Ogden's 2008 Syrahs are back, and I couldn't be more thrilled. Heralded for their ripe fruit, inviting spices and deft use of oak, these are wines that will pair beautifully with hearty meals.
Having spent three years working for the French cooperage Tonnellerie Nadalié, winemaker Tim Olson is supremely skilled at coaxing exactly what's needed from the barrel to the wine. Like a chef's use of salt, high-quality oak can elevate a wine and help it achieve greatness, imparting it with spices and smoke, and refining the wine's tannic structure. But too much oak can also overpower a wine. Because of this delicate balancing act, winemakers pay careful attention to the type of oak they use, the level of toast the barrel receives, as well as the barrel maker, known as the tonnelerie.
Olson also brings his experience working at the famous wineries Caymus, Acacia and Rosenblum to the mix, but this deep understanding of oak's effect on wine is why his bottles stand out. Spicy, complex and beautifully structured, these wines are truly made by a master.
From the same vintage and the same producer, these gorgeous Syrahs tasted side by side will provide an excellent example of vineyard variation. If drinking these wines now, decant them for a few hours.
Earth, mixed spices, scorched wood and exotic leather dominate the nose with fresh blackberry, blueberry and sweet tobacco on the finish. Balanced acidity, layered complexity and a chewy finish all make for a great food wine. Anything off the grill suits this wine. Delicious now, the wine will improve over the next three to five years.
"Gamey and exotic to the extreme, the gorgeous 2008 Olson Ogden Syrah Alder Springs Vineyard, 100% Syrah aged for 17 months in 67% new French oak, delivers a captivating bouquet of huge game, smoked leather, white pepper, and spice that's balanced by a rich core of raspberry and blackberry driven fruit. Beautifully complex and interesting on the nose, this medium to full-bodied beauty is balanced, has solid concentration, good acidity, and notable length on the finish. If you don't like a little game or dried beef in your Syrah, this isn't for you. However, I'm a fan and it will be interesting to see how this develops with age. Possibly better with a year or three in bottle, this should drink well for 10-12 years, if not longer."
—Jeb Dunnuck (Dec. 2011)
The renowned mountain fruit of Napa Valley's Stagecoach Vineyard appears often in Lot18 wines and is well loved. This Stagecoach Syrah is inky in color, showing its deep, dark style. Intense, concentrated blackberry notes are supported by a ripe, tannic structure, leading to a tart blackberry and lightly floral finish. This Syrah shows good, fresh acidity and warming alcohol, and roasted spice notes lend additional complexity. This wine is drinking superbly now, and it will develop for at least 10 years. Pair it with roasted lamb or roasted root vegetables.
"The ripest of the bunch, but still showing exceptional freshness and purity, the 2008 Olson Ogden Syrah Stagecoach Vineyard (100% Syrah aged for 17 months in 67% new French oak) has a solid core of dark plum and blackberry styled fruits, roasted meats, exotic spice, and violet aromatics. Beautifully balanced and poised on the palate, with a medium to full-bodied, round, supple feel, good concentration, and plenty of length on the finish, this superb Syrah benefits from a decant, and should drink well for 10-12 years."
—Jeb Dunnuck (Dec. 2011)
"It is not surprising to see a likeable wine from this very successful source, but it is a bit unusual in our experience to find a wine with the mannerly approach displayed here. Its nose is marked by mid-volume scents of Syrah spice, well-ripened but not over-concentrated blackberry notes and touches of creamy, oaky seasonings. It is a big but not brawny wine on the palate where its fruit again comes with varietal and oaky infusions, and its tannins, while evident, are well-integrated and look to hold the wine in good stead for years." (March 2011)
"This might be a Syrah to stash in your cellar for up to a decade. Right now, it’s jammy and sweet in berries, currants, licorice and teriyaki beef, and seems abrupt and rustic. But the tannins are fantastic, and the acidity is just fine. Give it a good five years."
—Steve Heimoff (May 1, 2011)
"Opaque ruby. Primary and highly expressive, displaying scents and flavors of black and blue fruits and violet, with notes of vanilla and mocha and a hint of cracked pepper. Chewy tannins add shape and grip to a long, smoky finish, which echoes the mocha note. Packs a serious punch and would be a great companion to grilled beef or lamb."
—Josh Raynolds (May/June 2011)
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Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming