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Red Car Estate Vineyard Syrah 2011

Syrah/Shiraz from Sonoma County, California
  • W&S93
  • WE92
12.7% ABV
  • W&S90
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12.7% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This Syrah shows itself texturally by moving from front to back of the mouth in a more linear fashion instead of around the outskirts of the mouth as liquid roundness. This Syrah maintains bright acidity throughout and has more in common with Burgundy than the Southern Rhone. Think Pinot Noir with pepper.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 93
Wine & Spirits
Planted in 2005 on a ridge less than four miles from the Pacific, the Red Car estate is a cool spot to grow syrah, and the 2011 vintage was especially cold. Still, the vines managed to harness just enough sunshine to grow a bright, elegant wine from the vineyard’s sandstone-based soils. After four years in bottle, it’s in a lovely place, with a graceful, lively presence that’s seductive rather than impactful, its vivid aromas of bay leaf, cassis and green olive surprisingly persistent given its featherweight structure.
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
A shock of white pepper remains memorable throughout this wine, which hails from a high-elevation vineyard overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Pinot Noir-like in its leanness and silky mouthfeel, it's prickly with feral jolts of cinnamon and tobacco.
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Red Car

Red Car Wine Company

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Red Car Wine Company, Sonoma County, California
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Red Car uses meticulous viticulture and transparent winemaking to craft wines with authentic character and originality. Combining old and new world techniques, we minimize manipulation so the fruit can faithfully express the cool climate personality of the Sonoma Coast.

Red Car was founded by Carroll Kemp and Mark Estrin in 2000 with 50 cases of Syrah from a single ton of grapes. Besides an enthusiasm for wine, they also shared a Hollywood background – Carroll as producer, Mark as screenwriter. Their intent was simple: source great grapes, make great wine and market it in an inventive, original way.

The winery name is a tribute to the electric trolley cars that ran throughout Los Angeles from the late 19th century through the early 1960’s. These "red cars" provided transportation in a romanticized time and place. We strive to make wines that are similarly memorable and transportive.

Sonoma County

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Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa Valley, the region only produces about half the amount of wine but boasts both tremendous quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.

Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Carneros. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by 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.

HNYRCRSYH11C_2011 Item# 140778