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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, 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.
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Central Coast

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The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches 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 San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.

While the region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.

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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.

HNYAMVSHW09C_2009 Item# 113504