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Andrew Murray Watch Hill Syrah 2009

Syrah/Shiraz from Central Coast, California
  • RP93
14.9% ABV
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14.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

We added 5% Viognier to this vintage in hommage of our old Roasted Slope Syrah. The 2009 vintage just begged for a little something extra, and the Viognier delivered by lifting the nose and by helping to keep this Syrah remain yummy and dinstinctive. The aromas and flavors lean toward bright red fruits...cherries, raspberries, currants, and cranberries, with just a touch of a floral/violet note (from the Viognier) with a spicy note dominated by fresh black pepper and a dose of sweet French oak. This wine is quite quaffable now, but you will be rewarded if you wait 2-7 years to drink this one.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Syrah Watch Hill Vineyard is a distinctly cool-climate wine endowed with considerable nuance. Open, floral aromatics meld into a core of beautifully delineated fruit in this layered, multi-dimensional Syrah. Dark raspberries, flowers, spices and star anise are some of the nuances that linger on the impeccable finish. The Watch Hill Vineyard includes 5% of Viognier (from Grundoon Vineyard) that was co-fermented. The wine was aged in 50% new oak barrels, all of which it handles quite beautifully. Ideally, this could use another year in bottle. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2021.
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Andrew Murray

Andrew Murray Vineyards

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Andrew Murray Vineyards, Central Coast, California
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Andrew Murray Vineyards is an exciting property that has the potential to produce wines that rival the best from the northern Rhône valley. Andrew Murray, the founder of the eponymous vineyard, is completely committed to growing Rhône varieties and producing wines in the style of Hermitage and Côte Rôtie. His wines are packed with flavor; unfined and unfiltered, these estate-grown wines are destined to become classics. The wines are beautifully packaged, but they have much more than "good looks" going for them. Andrew Murray Vineyards is a 200-acre site located about 1,500 feet above Foxen Canyon Road in the warm, inland portion of the Santa Ynez Valley, making the vineyard the highest in the county. Currently, 34 acres are planted to Syrah, Viognier, Mourvèdre, Grenache and Roussanne in 26 small, steep, carefully situated hillside vineyard blocks.

Central Coast

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The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of the state's wine. The sprawling district covers most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara from the coast inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley. Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types, and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including Monterey, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, and Santa Cruz Mountains.

Just about every major international grape variety is planted within this vast AVA, from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. A significant proportion of the region’s produce is generic, inexpensive bulk wine, but the Central Coast is also home to many small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as everything in between.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture, Syrah is capable of producing fascinatingly complex and long-lived wines with a stunning purple hue. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah’s best examples are found in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. It is also an important component of the GSM blends of the Southern Rhône and beyond, alongside Grenache and Mourvèdre. Both varietal Syrah and GSM blends are common in Australia and California and are gaining popularity in Washington State. In Australia, Syrah is known by the synonym Shiraz, which tends to indicate a bolder, fruit-driven style of wine, and is occasionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for added depth and structure.

In the Glass

At its best, Syrah shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper, smoke, and even bacon fat. Many examples from California aim to recreate this savory style, while others focus more on concentrated fruit flavors. In Australia, under the name Shiraz, it shines as that country’s unofficial signature red grape, producing deep, dark, intense, and often jammy reds.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Syrah, with its peppery spices, is a natural match with flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb dishes, where the spice is more about flavor than heat. With Australian Shiraz, grown in warmer regions, heavy meat dishes with abundant protein and fat are a necessity to match the intensity of the wine.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” this synonym for Syrah has been adopted by winemakers throughout the world. If the label says “Shiraz,” you can typically expect a plush, fruity, and potent wine made in the Australian style. New World "Syrah" will generally more closely resemble the French style.

HNYAMVSHW09C_2009 Item# 113504