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Flat front label of wine

Herman Story Larner Vineyard Syrah Santa Barbara County 2008

Syrah/Shiraz from Central Coast, California
  • WS93
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Larner was my first. My first vineyard designated wine, my first fruit contract, my first Syrah. I'm happy to say that we still get along. Heck, it just keeps getting better. This is my 4th Larner Syrah, and it's got everything I love most about the vineyard: huge fruit, balanced minearlity and fantastic spice. Lush aromas of cherry pie, jasmine, lava rock and fresh tarragon introduce a full bodied but nimble palate that carries seamlessly from grilled pineapple, smashed strawberry and beets to licorice, bark, clove and warm tar. Without question a worthy tribute to a lasting relationship. (DRINK NOW: decant 2+ hours, CELLAR: 8-10 years)

Critical Acclaim

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WS 93
Wine Spectator
Complex, with ripe, juicy plum, blackberry and wild berry fruit that touches on jam without being heavy. Full-bodied and spicy, ending with a persistent finish anchored by minerality. Drink now through 2018.
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Herman Story

Herman Story

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Herman Story, Central Coast, California

Proprietor and winemaker Russell P. From began Herman Story Wines in 2001 with 7 barrels stashed in his employer’s cellar. What started as a modest homage to his rancher grandfather has become a beacon to those seeking opulent, structured Syrah and Grenache. To maintain balance while giving flavor full stage, Russell works with 30 top-tier vineyards in over 7 distinct growing regions between Santa Barbara and Paso Robles. Vineyards of particular note include: Bien Nacido, Slide Hill, Larner, Shadow Canyon, Chelle Mountain, Luna Matta and White Hawk. These are no nonsense, balls to the walls wines that are not for the faint of heart or the pinky raising set. 

Central Coast

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The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of the state's wine. The sprawling district covers most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara from the coast 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 Monterey, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, and Santa Cruz Mountains.

Just about every major international grape variety is planted within this vast AVA, from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. A significant proportion of the region’s produce is generic, inexpensive bulk wine, but the Central Coast is also home to many small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as everything in between.

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.

WLDHSLVS08_2008 Item# 107963