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Jaffurs Upslope Syrah 2008

Syrah/Shiraz from Central Coast, California
  • RP95
  • WS94
  • WE93
0% ABV
  • JS95
  • WS92
  • RP96
  • WS92
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Winemaker Notes

A blend our best reserve Syrah compnents of 2008. Extensive blending trials over several days enabled us to make a Syrah which we feel "has it all". Big, bold, smooth, and built to last.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2008 Syrah Upslope (which Greg Jaffurs describes as selected barrels from his favorite vineyards) is slightly more restrained than the Bien Nacido, with more obvious structure. The wine smells almost like Syrah blood. Dense ruby/purple, super-rich, it is slightly more velvety-textured than the Bien Nacido. Both sweetness and tannins are present in this seductive wine, which is full-bodied and rich, with loads of black fruits, earth, spice, camphor, and floral notes. It is a brilliant Syrah, but at present, I give the Bien Nacido a slight edge. This is certainly a beautiful wine, and should anyone have the chance to buy it, "Don’t think twice." Flawless, seamless, with brilliant sweet blackberry and cassis fruit, this is a beauty to drink over the next 10-15+ years.
WS 94
Wine Spectator
Sleek and focused, with a complex, layered mix of spice, dried berry, hazelnut, fresh earth and floral, peppery scents. Full-bodied, intense and concentrated, this is notable for its finesse and refinement. Drink now through 2020.
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
This best barrels blend of all Jaffur's Syrahs combines charming drinkability with some ageability. It's vast and deep in blackberries, cassis and dark chocolate, but firm in tannins, framing delicious fruit in a sturdy structure. With a dry finish, it will provide good drinking over the next six years.
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Jaffurs Wine Cellars

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Jaffurs Wine Cellars, Central Coast, California
2008 Upslope Syrah
Jaffurs Wine Cellars is dedicated to producing great Rhône varietal wines with a new-world independence. It is one of the newest wineries in Santa Barbara County. Owner/winemaker Craig Jaffurs, working out of the Central Coast Wine Warehouse in Santa Maria, produced his first wines during the 1994 harvest. During the 1999 harvest, production increased to 2500 cases including Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Viognier, and Roussanne.

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.


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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.

TEDTO686_2008 Item# 106567