One of the discoveries of our recent Napa Wine Experience 2013 was this Syrah from Napa Valley Pritchard Hill. More surprising was that we found this Syrah at a classic Napa Cabernet Sauvignon producer, Arns. Further irony of this is that while we found this Pritchard Hill Syrah at Arns Estate on Howell Mountain, a focus of this trip was our visit to Pritchard Hill with our visit to David Arthur the next day.We tasted these wines, BYOB at Angelis Italian, our favorite local trattoria.This is the second blockbuster Napa Valley Syrah we've found recently, the other being the spectacular Kongsgaard Napa Valley Hudson Vineyard Syrah 2007.
Arns Syrah Melanson Vineyard 2008
This full throttle Syrah ended up being one of the highlights of our Napa extended weekend. So for a special celebration dinner this evening, I wanted to compare this Napa sensation against a benchmark Aussie Shiraz.
From my tasting at the winery, the Arns exhibited dark inky garnet color, full bodied, powerful but polished forward flavors of black berry and hints of blue fruits, layers of cassis and mocha, hints of clove, violets, leather and olive with a long lingering firm but silky tannin finish. Much like a big Southern Aussie Shiraz. 14.8%.
RM 93 points.
Kilikanoon Barossa Valley 'R' Shiraz 2002
I love their 'Oracle' label full throttle Shiraz, but for this special tasting, I chose their 'R' label, whimsically for my namesake initial wine, in the same way I choose Lewis with their 'L' label for special dinners celebrating Linda and Lucy.
From the winemaker's notes - "Powerfully built yet elegantly restrained, a compelling mix of riper fruit flavours, dark chocolate and fine French oak spice, with outstanding persistence and complexity. Full bodied, rich, ripe plum, black raspberry, subtle blueberry, hints of tar, vanilla, pepper, and graphite on a flavorful finish.
RM 92 points.