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Jeff Cohn Cellars Haley's Reserve Rockpile Syrah 2011

Syrah/Shiraz from Rockpile, Sonoma County, California
  • CG92
15.5% ABV
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15.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Aromatics of ripe blackberry and blueberry fruit are entwined with touches of graphite and smoky game. The exotic berry aromas are bolstered by an impressive dense and rich palate.

Critical Acclaim

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CG 92
Connoisseurs' Guide
The winery's usual bias to ripeness is in full evidence here, but so too is a wealth of very deep, well-focused varietal fruit and complexing elements of bacon, sweet smoke, loamy soils and a bare note of milk chocolate. While weighty and ripe, the wine is never jammy or fat, and it is solidly structured with a long way to go. It toughens at the finish as its abrasive tannins take hold and warn against early drinking. We can see where it might need a decade before settling down, but it has every sign that it will reward the wait.
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Jeff Cohn Cellars

Jeff Cohn Cellars

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Jeff Cohn Cellars, 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.

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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.

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Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by an 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.

MBWJC11RPSY_2011 Item# 141073