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Eric Kent The Barrel Climber Syrah 2012

Syrah/Shiraz from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
  • WS90
14.2% ABV
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14.2% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Gorgeously aromatic with suggestions of framboise, black fruit, pepper and blue flowers, the nearly impenetrable electric purple color may lead you to believe it is a monster, but not so! Alcohol levels are firmly in check and the balance and structure suggest this wine has a long life ahead. If you choose to pop one open sooner rather than later, decant for an hour or two, or drink over several days for maximum enjoyment.

*Note: Bottled with 2 different labels, Specific labels cannot be requested. The label shown may not be the label received.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 90
Wine Spectator
Intensely grapey and extracted, featuring pure, chunky blackberry, wild berry, black licorice, smoke, graphite and cedary oak notes. Ends with a dense, chewy aftertaste. Best from 2016 through 2028.
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Eric Kent

Eric Kent

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Eric Kent , Russian River, 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

Russian River

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A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, the Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river that flows through it. While there are warm pockets of the AVA, it is mostly a cool-climate growing region thanks to breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean.

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reign supreme in Russian River, with the best examples demonstrating a unique combination of richness and restraint. The cool weather makes Russian River an ideal AVA for sparkling wine production, utilizing the aforementioned varieties. Zinfandel also performs exceptionally well here. Within the Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. The former, farther from the ocean, is relatively warm, with a focus on red and white Bordeaux varieties. The latter is the coolest, foggiest parcel of the Russian River Valley and is responsible for outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

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.

SPREKBCSYR12C_2012 Item# 135886