JC Cellars Haley's Reserve Rockpile Syrah 2006
Syrah/Shiraz from Sonoma County, California
Effusive aromatics of ripe blackberry and blueberry fruit are entwined with touches of graphite and smoky game. The exotic berry aromas are bolstered by an impressive dense and rich palate. Supple tannins draw out an exceptionally long, dark and sexy finish.
Pair With – Beef does a body good, but prepare it simply to show off the fruit and mineral component of the wine. Try an easy beef stew. Also does well with all types of poultry, including the hard-to-match turkey. Drink now to 15 years.
"Red and black fruits with a mineral backbone are the hallmarks of this wine and appellation. All clusters are hand-sorted upon arrival, destemmed into ½ ton open-top fermenters, punched down five times per day, and pressed directly into new Burgundian French oak barrels."– Jeff Cohn.
Wine Spectator - "Intense and vibrant, with rich, full-bodied blackberry, wild berry and blueberry fruit that's deep and concentrated, focused and pure, ending with a long, persistent finish that gushes with fruit and is supported by ripe tannins. Drink now through 2015."
The Wine Advocate - "From a 2,000 foot elevation vineyard in the Rockpile area (which is now entitled to its own appellation name), the sensational 2006 Syrah Rockpile Vineyard exhibits notes of camphor, acacia flowers, and blue as well as blackberries. This full-bodied, multilayered, rich, super-concentrated Syrah can be drunk now or over the next decade. This is a dazzling example of this new AVA. "
Connoisseurs' Guide - "The Rockpile region is not likely to be the place where Syrah runs into limits and seeks polish, but this wine, admittedly both bold and very much on the rugged side, still possesses nicely formed blackberry fruit, complementary oak, and notes of dark soils, tar and dried spices. It is about equal in weight to the wine above but is noticeably fleshier and chewier in texture. Withal, this one probably drinks younger than its mate simply because its fruit is a trifle more open at its heart."
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JC Cellars Winery
When Jeff Cohn was the winemaker at Rosenblum Cellars, annually he crafted more than 70 different wines. Today, at his Oakland-based warehouse winery, the irrepressible vintner now limits himself to a mere 21 bottlings, focusing on Rhône varietals. Cohn's longtime relationships with some of California's top growers and vineyards enable him to source some of the state’s finest fruit, including Rockpile in Sonoma County, Fess Parker in Santa Barbara County and Stagecoach in Napa.
All JC Cellars wines are fermented in open top fermenting vessels that range in size from a half ton to eight tons, where each bin is hand punched down five times per day. This time-consuming procedure allows maximum exposure of skins to juice, intensifying the flavor of the fruit while handling it as gently as possible.
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About Sonoma CountyView a map of Sonoma County wineriesRelated Links:
Twice as large as Napa in size, Sonoma County only makes about a half the amount of wine as her northeasterly neighbor. But Sonoma, with her size, is able to vouch for more diversity within her borders, including sub-AVAs that are climatically varied. The atmosphere of Sonoma is decidedly laid back and down home country style. But in wines, they are keeping up with the Joneses, or Napa-ites if you will. Grape varieties are more varied here, from Pinot Noir and Zinfandel to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
Notable FactsThe largest sub-AVAs of Sonoma include Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Valley. Each sub-AVA, with its own micro-climate, is unique in its grape varieties and styles of wine. Dry Creek makes a mean Zinfandel while Russian River produces stand up Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Alexander Valley makes some of the better Cabernet Sauvignons in the county and Sonoma Valley creates excellent wines from all the above varieties. Other grapes found throughout Sonoma include Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah.
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.