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Jeff Cohn Cellars

2016 Buffalo Hill Rockpile Vineyard Syrah
2016 Buffalo Hill Rockpile Vineyard Syrah
Our flagship wine - Sustainably Farmed Rockpile Vineyard

Named after the hand carved wooden buffalo that overlooks the Rockpile Vineyard, the aromatics of Buffalo Hill are roasted earth, freshly ground French roasted coffee beans and savory notes with blackberry and black currants that soar from the glass. The palate is almost over the top; incredibly rich, layered and unctuous, but stays focused and fresh. From the black fruits, roasted earth notes, sweet creamy vanilla bean and brooding blackberry, this is one of my favorite Buffalo Hill vintages, reminding me of a mix of the 2005, 2010 and 2013 vintages. 

Vineyard Information

Learn More About Rockpile Vineyard


99 Pts Jeb Dunnuck, 96 Pts Conn Guide, 95 Pts Wine Advocate
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Wine Specs
Vineyard Designation
Rockpile Vineyard
18 mos.
100% New French 228L barrels
Alcohol %
Robert Parker
Connoisseurs' Guide
Wine Profile
Tasting Notes
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
99 Pts Jeb Dunnuck More saturated purple in color, the 2016 Syrah Buffalo Hill comes from the rockiest, steepest block of Syrah in the Rockpile vineyard. Reminding me of a great vintage of La Chappelle with its incredibly rich, powerful, meaty style, it offers profound notes of smoked meats, black raspberries, currants, toasted spice, graphite, and bacon fat. Deep, opulent, full-bodied, and massive on the palate, it has building tannins, as much richness as you could want, and a monster finish. This is straight up magical and will keep for another 15-20 years. 96 Pts Conn Guide Making its inaugural appearance in the pages with the 2003 vintage, Cohn's Buffalo Hill Syrah immediately established itself as one of the very best California Syrahs to be had, and the latest example only adds to its impressive legacy. As big and bold as ever but always a wine of terrific varietal definition with lovely oak imparting an extra layer of richness, it boasts tremendous fruity reserve and is surprisingly well-structured for a Syrah that goes to the hedonistic brink as it does. Its obvious richness noted, it is nonetheless one for the cellar, and it is guaranteed to grow for another ten to fifteen years. Reviewed: March 2019 95 Pts The 2016 Syrah Buffalo Hill Rockpile Vineyard has an opaque ruby-purple color and a spicy nose of dried violets, dark chocolate, toasted coconut and graphite with notes of cassis, blueberry preserves, grilled meats and exotic spices. It's full-bodied, rich and dense with firm, grainy tannins and wonderful freshness, blossoming in the mouth to chocolate and meaty notions and finishing very long and layered.
2016 - 99 Pts; 2015 - 96+ Pts; 2014 - 98; Pts 2013 - 98; Pts 2012 - 95; Pts 2011 - 92 Pts
Vineyard Notes
Sustainably Farmed Vineyard. 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.
Other Notes
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.
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98 pts Jeb Dunnuck, 96 pts Connoisseurs' Guide, 94 pts Wine Enthusiast
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