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Flat front label of wine

Fetzer Valley Oaks Syrah 1998

Syrah/Shiraz from California
    0% ABV
    • WS87
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    Winemaker Notes

    The 1998 Fetzer Syrah is a rich, dark purple color. In the nose, ripe plum and candied blackberry aromas mingle with floral notes, subtle anise, vanilla, and cola berry. On the palate the wine is richly textured, full of ripe plum and blackberry fruit with smoky oak, soft vanilla and round tannins. The weight of the wine is medium heavy, with a long finish, exhibiting medium-heavy tannins. The wine is perfect for enjoying upon release and for the next five years.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Fetzer

    Fetzer

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    Fetzer, California
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    Fetzer Vineyards, America's sixth largest premium wine producer, has been producing high quality varietal wines since 1968 in beautiful Mendocino County. In 1958, lumber merchant Barney Fetzer bought a ramshackle ranch in Redwood Valley as a home for his wife and a soon-to-be family of eleven children. Here, in the rugged hills of Mendocino, they toiled in their vineyards for a decade and turned their dream into reality with their first vintage in 1968. The family sold the business in 1992 to Brown-Forman Corporation.

    California

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    Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production, if California were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest wine-producing nation. The state’s diverse terrain and microclimates allow for an incredible range of wine styles, and unlike tradition-bound Europe, experimentation is more than welcome here. Wineries range from tiny, family-owned boutiques to massive corporations, and price and production are equally varied—plenty of inexpensive bulk wine is made in the Central Valley area, while Napa Valley is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive “cult” wines.

    Each American Viticultural Area (AVA) and sub-AVA of has its own distinct personality, allowing California to produce wine of every fashion: from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still to sparkling, light and fresh to rich and full-bodied. In the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate vineyard acreage. Sonoma County is best known for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. The Central Coast has carved out a niche with Rhône Blends blends based on Grenache and Syrah, while Mendocino has found success with cool climate varieties such as Pinot noir, Riesling and Gewürztraminer. With all the diversity that California has to offer, any wine lover will find something to get excited about 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.

    ASG61395_1998 Item# 15924