Failla Phoenix Ranch Syrah 2004
Syrah/Shiraz from Napa Valley, California
With aromas of roasting meat, violets and black pepper, this full-bodied Syrah offers rustic tannins that will reward cellaring.
The Wine Advocate - "The dense ruby/purple-colored 2004 Syrah Phoenix Ranch (450 cases) exhibits aromas of charcoal, white chocolate, pepper, and sweet blackberry and currant fruit. With full body, superb fruit, and an up-front, luscious, complex personality..."
International Wine Cellar - "Saturated, bright ruby. Wild, distinctly Northern Rhone-like aromas of roasted black fruits, black olive and smoked meat; I would have guessed Cornas. Then superripe and sweet, but with firm acids giving shape to the strong fruit flavors. Dense and seamless wine, perhaps a bit youthfully aggressive but with the breadth and strength of fruit to support its strong structure. Very long on the finish. I'd love to slip this into a blind tasting of Cornas."
While the history of Failla (pronounced FAY-la) is short it is not without its complexities. Founded as Failla Jordan in 1998, it took its name from the husband-and-wife team of winemaker Ehren Jordan and fellow debtor Anne-Marie Failla. That year we planted our Estate vineyard on the Sonoma Coast and began buying fruit for our first releases, the very Rhône-style '98 Alban Vineyard Viognier and '98 Que Syrah Syrah. View all Failla Wines
About Napa Valley
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Notable FactsWithin the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just grated an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
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.
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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.