2016 Vintage Reviews
Lisa Perrotti-Brown & Erin Brooks of The Wine Advocate
"The 2017 vintage in Sonoma was marked by three major events: heavy rains in winter/spring, wicked heat at the beginning of September and wildfires in October. Luckily, an estimated 90% of fruit had been harvested before the fires began. The real threat this vintage was the intense early September heat wave." - E Brooks
Single Vineyard Syrah
96 The 2016 Syrah So Serine Rockpile Vineyard is just a baby with loads of youthful fruit—cassis, blueberry and boysenberry jam—with classic layers of cracked peppercorn, bacon fat, cast iron, tapenade and violet plus touches of warm chocolate, toasted coconut and sweet spices. Full-bodied, rich and dense, it explodes in the mouth with gobs of ripe black and blue fruits. It has a firm, ripe, grainy frame and good freshness, finishing very long and chocolaty. This is stunning and should age very well. 102 cases were made. Drink now - 2040.
Rockpile Vineyard Haley
95+ The 2016 Syrah Haley Rockpile Vineyard has an opaque purple-black color and bursts from the glass with intense violet and wildflower aromas, slowly overtaken by dark chocolate, toasted coconut, graphite and cast iron with a savory current of cured meats and savory herbs and a core of cassis and warm blue fruits. The full-bodied palate explodes with perfumed fruits supported by amazingly ripe, pixelated tannins and juicy freshness, finishing very long and layered. Unbelievable! This still needs plenty of time to show its best, so forget it for a while. 317 cases produced. Drink now - 2040.
95 The 2016 Syrah So Serine Rockpile Vineyard is just a baby with loads of youthful fruit—cassis, blueberry and boysenberry jam—with classic layers of cracked peppercorn, bacon fat, cast iron, tapenade and violet plus touches of warm chocolate, toasted coconut and sweet spices. Full-bodied, rich and dense, it explodes in the mouth with gobs of ripe black and blue fruits. It has a firm, ripe, grainy frame and good freshness, finishing very long and chocolaty. This is stunning and should age very well. 102 cases were made. Drink now - 2040.
Domaine des Chirats
94 This wine is a collaboration with Yves Cuilleron from the northern Rhône. The 2016 Syrah Rockpile Cuilleron Collaboration Domaine des Chirats has an opaque ruby color and wonderful fragrance! Violets, lilacs and dried lavender aromas mingle with scents of crushed stone and graphite. Very slowly it opens to cracked black pepper, cured meats, cassis, baked black cherries, turned earth and blueberries. The full-bodied palate is floral and mineral-focused, offering more restraint and prettiness than the other Syrahs from the Jeff Cohn lineup. It has firm, pleasantly chewy tannins and very good freshness, finishing long and perfumed. This is intense, elegant and utterly classic. 332 cases produced. Drink now - 2040.
92+ The 2016 Syrah Silver Eagle Vineyard has a very deep, opaque purple-black color and nose of baked blueberry, black cherry preserves, warm blackberries and nuances of black olive, fried herbs and bacon fat. Full-bodied, it's big and bold in the mouth with dark fruit layers supported by firm, ripe, grainy tannins, finishing on a savory olive note. 216 cases produced. Drink now - 2030.
Zio Tony Ranch
91+ Very deep, opaque purple-black in color, the 2016 Syrah Zio Tony Ranch opens with notes of tar and turned black soil, opening to baked black berry, cherry and blueberry with notes of smoked meat, fried herbs and olive. Full-bodied and jam-packed with dark ripe fruits and savory nuances, it has very firm, slightly chewy tannins and a long, savory finish. 298 cases produced. Drink now - 2029.
Single Vineyard Rhônes
93 The 2016 Marsanne Stagecoach Vineyard was aged 18 months in 30% new French oak and is aging gracefully. On the nose, baked apples and loads of spicy accents beginning to open to touches of smoke, graphite and beeswax. The palate is full, silky and lush with spicy, honeyed character and a long, layered finish. 132 cases were made. Drink now - 2027.
91 The 2016 misc. stuff is a blend of 55% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 15% Mourvèdre. It has a medium to deep ruby color and is scented of baked red cherries, cured meats, peppercorn, baked plum, blueberry preserves, warm earth and garrigue. Medium to full-bodied, it’s very savory/peppery in the mouth with pleasantly chewy tannins and good freshness, finishing long. 155 cases produced. Drink now - 2027.
El Diablo Vineyard
90+ Medium to deep ruby-purple in color, the 2016 Grenache The Fallen Angel El Diablo Vineyard gives intense raspberry preserves, baked red and black cherry, bitter chocolate and garrigue aro-mas. Medium to full-bodied, it packs in the jammy fruit layers framed by firm tannins, going savory on the finish. This is a huge style of Grenache but well done. 262 cases produced. Drink now - 2027.
Sweetwater Springs Petite Sirah
90 The 2016 Petite Sirah Landy Sweetwater Springs Vineyard has a very deep, opaque purple-black color. It’s scented of violets, lilac, bitter chocolate and exotic spices over impenetrable dark fruits with blue fruit hints. Full-bodied, it’s packed with black and blue fruit and floral layers, with very firm, chewy tannins and a long, dense, chocolaty finish. 252 cases produced. Drink now - 2028.
89 Medium to deep ruby-purple, the 2016 Carignane Saitone Vineyard Broken Compass opens on an earthy note with tar and leather aromas over kirsch and jammy/baked black fruits. Medium to full-bodied, it gives earthy red fruit in the mouth framed by grainy tannins and finishing with very ripe fruit. 204 cases produced. Drink now - 2027.
Single Vineyard Zinfandel
94 The 2016 Zinfandel Rossi Ranch, deep ruby in color, has a fragrant, spicy nose with scents of cinna-mon stick, brown sugar, pie crust and toasted coconut over a core of warm stone fruits, black cher-ry jam and mixed berries with peppery hints. The palate is full-bodied, intense and very perfumed, with a sturdy frame of grainy tannins and lip-smacking freshness, finishing very long and layered. This is so, so good! 148 cases produced. Drink now - 2035.
St. Peter’s Church
94 Medium to deep ruby, the 2016 Zinfandel St. Peter’s Church Vineyard is a touch reticent to begin, with notes of tar, damp earth and autumn leaves. With time it offers aromas of cinnamon toast, black and red berry preserves, charcuterie and stone fruit touches. Medium to full-bodied, the pal-ate unleashes a color wheel of fruits framed with finely grained tannins and great freshness, finish-ing very long. This has great potential to blossom in bottle and will reward cellaring. 225 cases produced. Drink now - 2040.
94 The 2016 Zinfandel Nun’s Canyon Vineyard opens with notes of graphite, cast iron, tar and turned earth. It opens up to luscious scents of cherry jam, stone fruit cobbler and blue fruit preserves with touches of dried tobacco and eucalyptus. The full-bodied palate is incredibly intense, giving up layer after layer of juicy fruit. It has grainy tannins and surprising freshness, finishing very long. 182 cases were made. Drink now - 2035.
93 Deep ruby, the 2016 Zinfandel Iron Hill Vineyard has a gregarious nose of apricot-ginger jam, spiced stone fruit cobbler, cinnamon stick, mixed berries and oodles of violet perfume—this is wonderfully dense and aromatic. The full-bodied palate is packed with flavor layers but lifted by its frame of ripe tannins and remarkable freshness, finishing very long and very spicy. This is literally lip-smacking good! Drink now - 2035.
93 Deep ruby-purple in the glass, the 2016 Zinfandel Cassata Vineyard opens with some reductive aromas that dissipate fairly quickly, segueing to peach and apricot jam, blackberry pie, sweet spices, pipe tobacco, turned earth, graphite and savory herbs with red fruit sparks. Full-bodied, it’s dense and rich in the mouth with intense, minerally fruits, fine, grainy tannins and lip-smacking freshness, finishing very long. 240 cases produced. Drink now - 2035.
92 Scented of blackberry pie, prunes and sultanas with hints of new leather, fried herbs, tilled soil and oolong tea, the medium to deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Zinfandel Orcio Cassata Vineyard fills the full-bodied palate with dried fruit and earthy layers, supported by chewy tannins and plenty of freshness, finishing long. 106 cases were made. Drink now - 2024.
Sweetwater Springs Isabel
92+ Very deep ruby-purple in color, the 2016 Zinfandel Landy Sweetwater Springs Vineyard Isabel has a wonderful, gregarious nose of peach jam and powdered sugar over a core of warm red berry preserves, candied boysenberry and blueberry—I love the tricolored fruit layers here. Medium to full-bodied, it floods the mouth with warm red, blue and black fruits accented by chocolaty notes, with very fine, grainy tannins and a long, warm fruit finish. This is a huge expression of Zinfandel and I love it. 366 cases produced. Drink now - 2027.
93 The 2016 #PureYum is a blend of 67% Syrah and 33% Grenache. Deep ruby-purple in the glass, the nose opens with chocolate and soft menthol aromas accented by cracked pepper, fried thyme and sage, loamy earth and game meats scents with tricolored fruits at the core. In the mouth, it's full-bodied, bold and dense with a firm, pleasantly chewy frame and great freshness on the long, intense, savory finish. 222 cases produced. Drink now - 2030.
photo credit: Robert Parker Wine Advocate
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