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Eric Kent Kalen's Big Boy Blend Syrah 2013

Syrah/Shiraz from Sonoma County, California
  • CG90
15.1% ABV
  • CG95
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15.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

2013 is the 10th vintage of Kalen’s - the winery can hardly believe it either! Now incorporating more of the mighty Alban clones from Steiner Vineyard up on Sonoma Mountain, a bit of spicy, whole cluster-fermented fruit from Las Madres in Carneros and finished with some Russian River Valley fruit from Atoosa’s vineyard, this Kalen’s represents everything we love about Syrah. As long-time fans have come to expect, the 2013 lives up to its moniker providing plenty of forward, big-fruited excitement and is already showing exuberant bing cherry, blackberry, vanilla and pepper. Dark and meaty but still balanced and fresh, Kalen’s continues to be a crowd pleaser without going over the top.

Critical Acclaim

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CG 90
Connoisseurs' Guide
Potent and aggressively fruity as it always is and a full-sized take on Syrah that makes no bones about being ripe, the Kalen’s Big Boy Blend is a substantial and serious wine that aims for emphatic richness and hits the mark smartly. It errs ever so slightly to heat at the finish, but it never impresses as being excessive or lacking control, and it is the kind of Syrah to call on with similarly rich and boldly flavorful dishes such as a garlic-studded, spit-roasted leg of lamb.
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Eric Kent

Eric Kent

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Eric Kent , Sonoma County, California
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Eric Kent is a self proclaimed “hyper-enthusiastic” wine geek since college (writing volumes of tasting notes and spending all of his disposable income on wine), it wasn’t until age 33 that Eric worked his first harvest. He had a single goal in mind: to someday hold up a bottle of world-class wine and say to himself, “I made this.”

"Today I’m fascinated to discover that my goal is never-ending… the pursuit of making fine wine goes on forever. Each vintage brings new challenges and triumphs, more discoveries and deeper desires. Palates evolve, knowledge grows, new vineyards beckon, ideas flow. It’s really about the journey after all." -Kent Humphrey

Sonoma County

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Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa Valley, the region only produces about half the amount of wine but boasts both tremendous quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.

Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Carneros. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.

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.

SPREKKBBSO13C_2013 Item# 165152