I am not sure where I purchased this wine from — and I can’t find it anywhere. It does not have the usual Alban label. I do like their viognier and they do tend to get a lot of good press in general — making a couple of appearances in the WS Top 100 the last 5 years and consistent ratings from Parker. Alban is one of California’s Rhone Rangers — according to the winery it was the first U.S. vineyard to exclusively produce Rhone varietals.
This syrah is interesting — there are a lot of components I like. Great finish, balance with nice fruit –the weight is nice, it is not overpowering. Lots of dark cherry, dark chocolate, oak and some spice — but it is also a bit hot at 15.4% alcohol and it just doesn’t seem very seamlessly integrated — it comes through on the nose and the palate. It still is a very good wine and expect it would rate pretty well — but at least at this time, with this bottle, it seems to show a little too much heat.
I decanted the wine and after a couple of hours it started to show much alcohol on the nose and palate — to this day I find it so interesting to see how a wine changes after you open it, over the course of 2 hours or 10-12. Not to mention the changes that occur putting down a bottle for 3-4 years, 7-8 years or more than 12 years, etc.