The Rhone Report

Issue Nov 2010

2008 MANDALA SYRAH – 93 points
2008 HOMESTEAD SYRAH – 91 points
2007 RATTLESNAKE ROCK SYRAH – 94+ points

"Another stunning lineup of wines by Big Basin's Bradley Brown. His '07s show the structure and depth of the vintage, while the '08s are fleshly and ripe." – Jeb Dunnuck

2008 Mandala Syrah: "A big wine, and a real charmer…the Grenache portion shows on the nose with an up front, sweet bouquet of wild raspberries, licorice, crushed flowers, dusty earth and chocolate ganache like aromas. Full bodied on the palate with notable purity and a round, friendly personality as well as solid concentration and density, this beautifully made wine should drink well for a decade or longer."

2008 Homestead Syrah: "Big and up front on the nose with ripe blackberry and raspberry like fruits, toasted spice, roasted game, crushed flowers, and licorice aromatics, this opens up beautifully in the glass, showing notable purity as well as solid underlying minerality. Full bodied, lush and round with a hedonistic texture, good concentration and a focused finish, this is drinking beautifully now, but should easily last for 8 to 10 years."

2008 Fairview Road Ranch Syrah: "Much more opulent and round than the '07 from this vineyard, the 2008 sports loads of decadent dark fruits, black pepper, meat, and touches of underlying gamey notes. Plus and medium to full bodied on the palate with a voluptuous full texture, solid underlying structure and a long, fruit filled finish, this seamless, borderline hedonistic beauty should drink well for a decade."

2007 Coastview Syrah: "Dark and mineral-laced with a touch more focus than the Fairview Ranch, the 2007 Coastview displays solid Syrah Typicity, with sweet blackberry, pepper, smoked earth, tar, and freshly crushed rock aromas on the nose. These are followed by a medium to full bodied wine that has a voluptuous, yet focused texture, sweet fruit, and a long finish. Delicious now, the purity and balance should allow this to evolve gracefully over the next decade."

2007 Rattlesnake Rock Syrah: "Drop dead gorgeous the 2007 Rattlesnake Rock Syrah yields deep, rich aromatics of blackberry and raspberry fruits that are interwoven with rusty iron, minerals, dark chocolate and violets. Full bodied and perfectly balanced with a seamless, smooth texture, serious density and concentration and a long, focused and tannic finish. Still tight and compact, this needs 3 to 5 years in the cellar, and then should drink well for a decade or longer after that."