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Rusack Santa Barbara Syrah 2008

Syrah/Shiraz from Central Coast, California
  • WS93
  • RP90
14.5% ABV
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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 a good majority of the state's wine. This vast district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches 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 San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.

While the region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.

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.

CWL21221808_2008 Item# 107956