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Jeff Cohn Cellars Domaine des Chirats Syrah 2014

Syrah/Shiraz from Rockpile, Sonoma County, California
  • RP95
0% ABV
  • CG97
  • RP95
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Winemaker Notes

A collaborative project with Yves Cuilleron, of the Northern Rhône, in which Yves and Jeff decided to use the fruit from the oldest block of Rockpile Vineyard. This wine is dark, with hues of red and purple that are opaque in saturation. Aromatics of wild herbs stimulate the senses as you meander to a sweet nose of black cherry, blackberries, cassis, and liquid minerals. A harmonious balance of tannins, acidity, concentrated black fruits, and roasted Herbes de Provence yield to a bold and lengthy finish. Not French, not California, but pure Rockpile Syrah.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2014 Syrah Domaine Des Chirats comes from Rockpile. It is a collaboration with Yves Cuilleron from France’s Northern Rhône. This is made from what is believed to be Chapoutier suitcase clones. It is 100% Syrah aged in about 30% new French oak with about 30% whole clusters during the fermentation. Beautiful elegance and complexity with notes of blueberry, blackberry, floral notes, and great acid, this is a dead ringer for a Northern Hermitage or Côte-Rôtie. A gorgeous, dense purple color to the rim, sweet, juicy fruit, full body, but again, incredible freshness and vibrancy. This is a stunner and comes in at 15.2% natural alcohol, but seems light on its feet. Drink it over the next decade or more. P.S. As it sits in the glass, some bacon fat, lard and meaty notes also emerge.
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Jeff Cohn Cellars

Jeff Cohn Cellars

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Jeff Cohn Cellars, Rockpile, Sonoma County, California
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When Jeff Cohn was the winemaker at Rosenblum Cellars, annually he crafted more than 70 different wines. Today, at his Oakland-based warehouse winery, the irrepressible vintner now limits himself to a mere 21 bottlings, focusing on Rhône varietals. Cohn's longtime relationships with some of California's top growers and vineyards enable him to source some of the state’s finest fruit, including Rockpile in Sonoma County, Fess Parker in Santa Barbara County and Stagecoach in Napa.

All JC Cellars wines are fermented in open top fermenting vessels that range in size from a half ton to eight tons, where each bin is hand punched down five times per day. This time-consuming procedure allows maximum exposure of skins to juice, intensifying the flavor of the fruit while handling it as gently as possible.

Rockpile

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High elevation vineyards—800 to 2,100 feet—on well-drained soils of red and brown clay loam, gravel and large rock outcroppings produce low yields of intense, high-quality fruit. Surrounded by Northern Sonoma County and overlapping Dry Creek Valley in its northwest corner, the Rockpile AVA produces some of California most powerful Zinfandel, Petit Sirah, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon based wines.

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.

PHXJCCDCS14750_2014 Item# 166329