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Meyer Family Cellars Syrah 2012
One of the state’s iconic wine brands, Meyer Family Cellars occupies a unique place in the story of California wine. It was established in 1987 by Silver Oak founders and former owners Justin and Bonny Meyer, who dreamt of a family wine brand that drew upon their extensive experience in the Napa and Alexander Valleys.
Today Meyer Family Cellars is in the capable hands of co-winemakers Matt and Karen Meyer. Their approach to winemaking mirror the unique position of their product. While their wine incorporates “old world” balanced acidity and minerality with "new world" ripeness and forward fruit, similarly, Matt and Karen apply the wisdom gleaned from family history while welcoming new ideas into the process.
A unique appellation placed in between the warm, Sonoma County Alexander Valley and the cooler Mendocino County's Anderson Valley, the Yorkville Highlands’ gravel soils are ideal for Bordeaux varieties and other full-bodied reds.
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.
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.
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.