Zaca Mesa Santa Ynez Valley Syrah 2006
Syrah/Shiraz from Central Coast, California
#29 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2010
The 2006 growing season started a month late after an unusually cold March. Spring and summer were relatively mild with our average highs in the upper 80's. In early October, we had an afternoon down pour which increased our anxiety since the grapes were still hanging. Thankfully, it was quickly followed by warm, dry weather which allowed the grapes to ripen fully. Harvest came and went quickly, albeit a month late, yielding rich reds and bright whites.
After hand harvesting, the grapes were destemmed and placed into small open-top bins to cold-soak for 4 days and then to ferment, some with native yeast. During fermentation, the rising grape skins were punched down twice a day resulting in wine of intense color, rich flavors and fine tannins. This wine was aged for sixteen months in French oak barrels; 30% of them were new.
Our Syrah displays rich blackberry, cassis, espresso, mocha and our signature sage spice aromas and flavors. The silky finish lingers from the ripe tannins and smoky oak. This full-bodied wine should be enjoyed over the next ten years. A traditional pairing for this wine is a rack of lamb with rosemary and garlic. Grilled meats and bold cheese will also pair well.
Wine Spectator - "Offering wonderful floral, grapey plum and wild berry aromas, this is rich, smooth and supple on the palate, with tiers dark berry, mocha, mineral and spice flavors that glide along. Drink now through 2015."
Wine Enthusiast - "A beautiful wine. If more Syrahs were like this, especially at this price, more people would buy them. It’s dry and smoothly tannic, with rich flavors of blackberries, bacon, chocolate and peppery spices. Try as an alternative to Zaca Mesa's much more expensive single vineyard and reserve Syrahs. It’s almost as good."
Connoisseurs' Guide - "Fans of expressively gamy Syrah should find a good deal to like here, but so too will those who like their Syrahs on the rich and well-ripened side. The wine is a big one, yet it is nicely balanced, and it does a fine job of hiding its heat. Neither its acidity nor its ample tannins are excessive, and the two are seamlessly fit. It is sufficiently fruity to enjoy early on but has the extract and depth to improve for a few years. Zaca Mesa seems to get it right with Syrah year in and year out. Well done."
- View All
Zaca Mesa Winery
Foremost, Zaca Mesa, where our vineyards are rooted, is a place. This elevated plateau with its extraordinary vistas lies within the unique Santa Barbara coastal mountain corridors. Here, the land is softly pained by sunlight, directly cooled by the Pacific windstreams. For over 2000 years its bounties and its beauty were revered by the Chumash Indians. The Spanish settlers who arrived in the 17th century were the ones who named it "La Zaca Mesa," borrowing the word "Zaca" from the Chumash-meaning "peaceful" and adding their own "Mesa" meaning "table."
At over 1,500 foot elevation, the Zaca Mesa vineyards are among the highest in Santa Barbara County. Warm sunny days and cool, breezy afternoons produce temperature conditions ideal for our Rhone varietals: Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Viognier, Cinsaut and Counoise.
This land has always driven our approach to farming. Way back in 1978, when Zaca Mesa was established, it was the first Santa Barbara County winery to plant the lush and luscious red/black Rhone grape Syrah. Zaca Mesa's estate program is now dominated by the incredible, blend-able Rhone superstars.
We are committed to the highest quality grapes, so year-round, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, Ruben and his crew manage our 246 vineyard acres to maximize the unique character of our fruit. This means conservative cropping, resulting in fewer tons per acre, careful pruning to achieve that delicate balance between vigor and crop, and leaf pulling to encourage healthy cluster development.
Our wines are true to the uniqueness of our estate fruit, with a focus on quality. We are always working with new and exciting varietal blends, wines that pair perfectly with the cuisine of today. A little something off the grill and a glass of Zaca Mesa Syrah (or Chardonnay. or Z Cuvee. or Z Gris), we are proud to bring you our vineyard to your glass. View all Zaca Mesa Wines
About Central CoastView a map of Central Coast wineries
The largest of California's wine growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of California's wine. The district sprawls out, covering most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Smaller sub-AVAs of the Central Coast include Monterey Bay, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains and many others.
Notable FactsGrape varieties range from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Some Central Coast wine is generic, bulk wine that contributes to the high production numbers of the area. But many winemakers and wineries, particular in some of the smaller AVAs, are small production artisans, creating unique and high-quality wine. The great thing about the Central Coast is its diversity - you're able to find a number of grape varieties and styles at a number of different price points.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Customer ReviewsSign In to Add Your Review4 }div>3.8 out of 5 stars
- 5 Stars: 1
- 4 Stars: 4
- 3 Stars: 3
- 2 Stars: 0
- 1 Stars: 0
8 ratings, 7 with reviews310/23/2010Imewine - Harrisburg, PA59/11/2010Good stuff!Feng - Washington, DC37/23/2010I don't remember much of this wine after drinking it. So maybe it is forgettable? Otherwise, it is probably just very drinkable, so it doesn't stand out as very good or bad. Not great for the price.Jim Bo - Midlothian, VA46/30/2010Highly rated and decent Syrah. Offers some floral and wild berry on the nose. It is smooth on the palate, with berry, mocha and spice flavors that last.Pius Fidelibus - San Carlos, CA47/28/2010Fruity with great overtones. Cannot beat this for the price.37/10/2010wine was ok. Cork was detroriated and the wine may have gone slightly bad.46/18/2010I purchased 1/2 case of this wine, expecting to let the remaining 5 lay down for a year or two. It is drinkable now and does exhibit the signature sage spice of Zaca Mesa Syrahs. Nice finish and can probably benefit from further aging. The wine changed from beginning to end of bottle as it opened up flavors towards the end.Joshua Iacuone - Dallas, TX45/7/2010This tasted heavy and full-bodied. Paired nicely with hot Italian sausage and risotto.
Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
- 5 Stars: