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Rusack Santa Barbara Syrah 2008

Syrah/Shiraz from Central Coast, California
  • WS93
  • RP90
14.5% ABV
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4.0 1 Ratings
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4.0 1 Ratings
14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

#27 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2011

81% Syrah, 8% Petite Sirah, 11% Grenache.

The Syrah varietal is Santa Barbara County's great noble red. This bottling is abundant with suggestions of blackberry, blueberry, and hints of vanilla. Its silky texture carries ripe fruit and tannins on the palate.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 93
Wine Spectator
Complex and layered, offering a firm core of dried berry, mineral, cedar and sage, with dashes of pepper and spice. Full-bodied, sleek and focused, ending with a touch of creamy oak. Drink now through 2010.
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The outstanding 2008 Syrah Santa Barbara exhibits mineral-laced, dark raspberry, kirsch, and blacker fruit characteristics, a velvety texture, medium to full body, and an elegant, soft, seductive personality. Drink it over the next 4-5 years.
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Rusack

Rusack

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Rusack, Central Coast, California
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Rusack was established in 1995 by Geoff Rusack and Alison Wrigley Rusack with a commitment to creating world-class wines. In the years since then, this dedication to quality has meant some dramatic changes at the winery.

The most visible change is in the vineyard. Following the 2001 harvest, many of the original vines were pulled out and replanted under the guidance of winemaker John Falcone. Utilizing cutting edge technology and taking advantage of Ballard Canyon’s unique terroir, varieties to be grown were carefully chosen and limited to those clones best suited to the microclimate. Syrah, Sangiovese, and Sauvignon Blanc have been planted, along with smaller lots of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot to be blended into the renowned "Anacapa."

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.

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.

CWL21221808_2008 Item# 107956