The palate is generous and lush from beginning to the finish, with just enough grip and minerality that will make this wine age for at least 20+ years. The flavors are a mirror image of its aromatics but with even more intriguing iron and lavender component that winds its way through the palate. Jeff Cohn
96 Pts Wine Advovate Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2015 Syrah Buffalo Hill Rockpile Vineyard is a little closed to begin, giving way to a rock-star nose of baked plums, crushed blackcurrants, wild blueberries and violets with touches of espresso, licorice, Sichuan pepper and hoisin plus a hint of rose hip tea. Full-bodied and super concentrated in the mouth with layer upon layer of black fruit and savory flavors, it's framed with firm, grainy tannins and fantastic freshness, finishing long and perfumed. 96+ Pts Jeb Dunnuck The more limited release, the 2015 Syrah Buffalo Hill Rockpile Vineyard is a dense, concentrated, backward effort that's going to need 2-4 years of bottle age to show at its finest. Blackcurrants, smoked meats, cedarwood, and lead pencil characteristics flow to a powerful, full-bodied, Syrah that has ripe, yet present tannin, integrated acidity, and a huge finish. Backward, dense, yet oh so promising, it's world-class stuff and is going to have two decades of overall longevity.
96 Pts Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wines
There is no denying the qualifications of this wine as one of the very top Syrahs from California. It is consistent from year to year and the current version boasts concentration, layering, depth and richness that know very few parallels among domestic offerings. Its enticing fillips of dried violets, light spice and rich loam within its long and continuous fruit build to an unusually long, inviting finish, yet, for all of its compelling character, the wine is still a babe in the woods and has only begun to show the brilliance that will continue to emerge over the next decade. It may be pricey, but the best things in life often are and this exceptional offering is worth it.
2014 - 98; Pts 2013 - 98; Pts 2012 - 95; Pts 2011 - 92 Pts
2010 ft. Elevation of granite, loam, clay, quartz-it's the heaviest,rockiest, and steepest vineyard at Rockpile. The granite adds a mineral backbone to the weight that the clay creates in the wine. Planted to 470 small berry Syrah clone added with native yeast that Jeff isolated from Rockpile makes this a stunner wine every vintage. This section is named after the big hand carved Buffalo that sits atop the vineyard protecting the fruit.
In 2002 after many bottles of wine, I was able to talk Rod Park the original owner of the vineyard, to plant Syrah on the top of the hill where a carved wooden Buffalo stands. Rod wanted to leave the grassy and rocky hillside alone. Well those many bottles of wine kicked in and the next thing you know we are planting Syrah on the hill. Welcome Buffalo Hill Syrah! This is the rockiest section of the vineyard, thus more stressful to the vines and produces very thick skinned and small berries.