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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

All Vintages
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 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.

SPREKKBBSO13C_2013 Item# 165152