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Agharta Syrah (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2004

Syrah/Shiraz from North Coast, California
  • RP98
15.7% ABV
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15.7% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Evolved aromas of roasted earth, dried leather and meat jus immediately emerge from the surface of this opaque liquid. Eventually fruit aromas respond to your coaxing and tiny currants, the ripest blackberries and the densest of blue fruits fill out the darker more evolved aromas of leather and tar. The wine is thick and immediately mouth coating with a very richly textured and immensely concentrated sensation of fruit and spice. The secondary aromas of delicate white flowers, black summer truffles and dark roasted coffee highlight the fruit as the wine unfolds in your mouth. This wine isn't noticeably oaky or excruciatingly tannic or seemingly sweet, it is just all kind of 'there' composed and finely knit together in a very decadent glass of wine.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 98
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Proprietors Pam and Pax Mahle have fashioned a 2004 Syrah called Agharta. Aged 58 months (that’s not a typo) in French oak casks (the 2005, 2006, and 2007 vintages will spend 45-48 months in cask), the extraordinary 2004 is a 475-case blend of 92% Syrah, 5% Grenache, and the rest Viognier, Marsanne, and Roussane. Most of the Syrah comes from the Alder Springs Vineyard in Mendocino. This profound wine’s inky/purple color is followed by aromas of smoky barbecue meats, grilled Provencal herbs, and exotic tropical fruits intermixed with blackberry, cassis, blueberry, and graphite. This super-rich effort tastes like the nectar of Syrah, yet it is dry, elegant, and remarkably fresh and precise. In the mouth, the impression is like that of a multilayered cake – everything is there. This is an amazing, very multi-dimensional wine that must be tasted to be believed. It can be drunk now or cellared for two decades.
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Agharta

Agharta

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Agharta, North Coast, California
"Agharta Wines is the continuation of a project that I began in 2002. Utilizing the lowest yielding vineyards that produce the most intensely concentrated wines and age them in barrel until they ‘unfold’ and start to reveal secondary nuance. This process is unsettling at times as the wines could prove to need many years to mature and evolve in barrel until I feel they are ready to be bottled." ~Pax Mahle

North Coast

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Reaching up California's coastline and into its valleys north of San Francisco, the North Coast AVA includes six counties: Marin, Solano, Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake. While Napa and Sonoma enjoy most of the glory, the rest produce no shortage of quality wines in an intriguing and diverse range of styles.

Climbing up the state's rugged coastline, the chilly Marin County, just above the City and most of Sonoma County, as well as Mendocino County on the far north end of the North Coast successfully grow cool-climate varieties like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and in some spots, Riesling. Inland Lake County, on the other hand, is considerably warmer, and Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc produce some impressive wines with affordable price tags.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah accounts for a good deal of some of the most intense, powerful and age-worthy reds in the world. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah still achieves some of its maximum potential here, especially from Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie.

Syrah also plays an important component in the canonical Southern Rhône blends based on Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, adding color, depth, complexity and structure to the mix. Today these blends have become well-appreciated from key appellations of the New World, namely Australia, California and increasingly, with praise, from Washington.

In the Glass

Syrah typically shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper and even bacon, smoke or black olive. In Australia, where it goes under the name Shiraz, it produces deep, dark, intense and often, jammy reds. While Northern Rhône examples are typically less fruity and more earthy, California appears increasingly capable of either style.

Perfect Pairings

Flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb, grilled meats, spareribs and hard, aged cheeses are perfect with Syrah. Blue cheeses are perfect with a dense and fruit-driven Australian Shiraz.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” winemakers throughout the world have adopted this synonym for Syrah when they have produced a plush and fruit forward wine made in the Australian style. As an aside, Australians are also fond of tempering their fruit-forward Shiraz by blending with Cabernet Sauvignon, which adds depth and structure.

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