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Today's Wine:

2009 Terra Bella Estate Syrah

2009 Terra Bella Estate Syrah Paso Robles, Central Coast


 
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Today's Wine Comments:
Cellarthief

From the renowned Paso Robles estate where legends in wine source their grapes comes the single vineyard Syrah. The grapes are grown on steep limestone-rich hillsides, that result in rich and voluptuous, dark inky wines that start to peak at around the five to ten year mark. Described by Food and Wine as, “One of the most fearsome talents in food and wine,” this beautifully crafted wine by Murray is precisely what a red wine drinker wants to pour with friends, food and fun.


Things to Know: 

Terra Bella was originally 180 acres of cattle land before it was purchased in 2000 and converted into vineyards with the intent of making the best Rhone wines in California.

To protect the environment only sustainable practices and non-toxic materials are used on the land.
Clones from famed Cal-Rhone producers Alban and Tablas Creek are planted throughout the property, and the grapes are sold to Parker favorites Spottswoode, J. Lohr, McPrice Meyers, and even Andrew Murray Vineyards.

The first documented planting of Syrah in California was in 1975 by winemaker Gary Eberle on the Estrella River Winery vineyards east of Paso Robles. It was the first time Syrah showed up in the California grape acreage report, and it was the origin of the first 100 percent Syrah made in the US.

Nose of dark, dried black berries, game, dark curry spice and bittersweet chocolate. Taste more of the same with a little tobacco and anise seed adding complexity.
Earthy flavors throughout: dark soil, soy sauce and baker’s chocolate. Boasts the flavors AND texture of a good Northern Rhone.

In 2000 we were looking for a retirement job for Jack after his 30 years as an airline pilot, and being wine lovers and Napa Valley residents, vineyards naturally came to mind. On a trip to Southern California to see our daughters we stumbled upon the town of Los Olivos in Santa Barbara County, and the tasting room of Andrew Murray Vineyards. A few sips of his Syrah and we were hooked! Deciding that Andrew’s Syrah was the most magical nectar ever tasted, and totally unlike Syrahs produced in Napa Valley, we began our search for vineyards or land on which to create our own.

After some months of searching, 180 acres of cattle ranch land became available in the beautiful rolling hills of the Adelaida in Paso Robles’ Westside. Blessed with the morning fog and ocean breezes from the nearby Pacific and the long sunny afternoons of the Central Coast, we felt that we were approximating the same climatic conditions as the Napa Valley but with fabulous calcareous, Rhône type soils ~ the perfect terroir for Syrah!

And, indeed, it has proven to be. Even the early grape yields received rave reviews, earning two of Terra Bella’s grape buyers Parker ratings in the 90’s. As the vines have matured, the fruit has gained a depth and intensity of flavor. The marriage of Terra Bella grapes and Andrew Murray’s winemaking takes us to the goal we set for ourselves when we first decided to enter the wine business ~ quite simply, to produce the finest Rhônes in the Central Coast.

Pair with beef, lamb, and game or blackend meaty fish such as salmon and tuna. We also recommend a variety of cheeses, such as cheddar, goat, aged gouda, grueyere, and camembert.

Wine Ratings

93 Insider Points

92 Points, 'Best Buy'- Beverage Testing Institute

91 Points, 'Editor's Choice- Wine Enthusiast 

Wine Reviews

The 2009 Terra Bella Syrah from paso Robles is the best effort yet from this small winery, although this vintage was not submitted for scores, I’m sure it would match or beat last years 90 points from Robert Parker.  This is a big and extracted Syrah from west side Paso, the cooler and much more expensive terroir of the area.  Not a shy bottle of wine, expect black cherry, blackberry, cassis, sweet tobacco leaf and toasted oak, everything you could want from a warm climate Syrah.  The texture is especially appealing, dry and rough, with a stomped berry acidity and never ending finish, quite hedonistic.  Will make friends with grilled meats and fans of the bolder reds.  Enjoy now through 2020. - DZ May, 2015

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