2013 Syrah (Les Cotes de L’ouest) by Terre Rouge

Tonight’s occasion: 2013 Syrah (Les Cotes de L’ouest) by Terre Rouge * Easton Wines, Plymouth, California.

Dark rich intense color. Nose is restrained with gentle notes of plum, dark berries and hint of sweet cherry. Terroir is tastefully expressed through subtle wet sandy leather. Once opened up, a hint of mushrooms emerges when swirled.

Body is balanced from front to back, attack to finish. Mild acidity opens up the palate which is quickly filled in with plums, dark cherries and the faintest hint of dried apricot all wrapped in massive, heavy tannin. A seamless transition to finish characterized by an ever tightening tannic grip resulting in parched lips sealed shut with a spicy tingle.

Terre Rouge is our 2019 Winemaker Of The Year. This is their flagship wine, intended to introduce the wider consumer audience to their exquisite small batch wines. It is a head scratcher of a wine because it stands head and shoulders above most reserve Syrah I’ve had. It presents an incredible value at a mind boggling price point. It embodies what a classic California Syrah is all about. I keep a case on hand as a baseline comparison whenever reviewing a Syrah and I can say many Syrah have fallen to this humble wine. Well done Bill, Jane and the entire Terre Rouge Easton Team! πŸ·πŸ˜πŸ‘ŒπŸ½

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2014 Cabernet Franc by Easton

Tonight’s occasion: 2014 Cabernet Franc (Monarch Mine Vineyard) by Easton.

From the 2019 WineSnob.blog Winemaker of the year. I have been looking forward to exploring his work with Cab Franc.

Deep inky color. Aromatic nose for a Cab Franc. Big plum and blackberry on the front and mineral earthy terroir on the back. Big bold fruity body dominated by tart plum and blackberry. Heavy chewy tannins make a delayed entrance and turn slightly creamy once it breathes a little. Nice seamless transition to a long woody, tannic finish capped with moderate spice.

This wine is well built and very approachable now. It should age nicely over the next few years. Wines like this are why I choose to stay off the beaten path.

Thanks you Bill & Jane. I’m looking forward to many more great vintages.

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2008 Syrah (Sentinel Oak) by Terre Rouge

Tonight’s occasion: 2008 Syrah (Sentinel Oak Vineyards) by Terre Rouge * Easton Wines, Plymouth, CA.

Deep inky color. Rich nose with lots of plum, blackberry and a hint of caramel on the back. Big, beautiful and bold structured body with great balance. That plum and blackberry carries through into the body accompanied by a little acidity. Massive finish dominates the palate as those big tannins roar to life and demand your attention. This is a fantastic wine. A well built wine that punches above it’s weight. The winemakers’s tireless attention to detail, commitment to excellence without compromise and decades of practice in the art and science of wine making really shows here.

This wine is just now becoming approachable in my opinion and has easily another decade of expression ahead of it. At 11+ years old, it is nowhere near its peak expression.

Well done Terre Rouge * Easton! 😁🍷🍷🍷

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2011 L’Autre (GSM) by Terre Rouge.

Tonight’s occasion: 2011 L’Autre by Terre Rouge * Easton Wines. This is a GSM – Grenache, Syrah, Mauvedre.

A red blend from one of our favorite winemakers. Warm rich nose, with lots of cherry and plum wrapped in just the right amount of oak. Earthy mineral terroir is nicely expressed. Body is all business. Very structured, complex and balanced. Just the right amount of acid, tannin, fruit, oak, and terroir. A vibrant finish plays back and forth with tannin and spice, finally relenting to long lasting tannic grip. Once opened up, the tannins begin to spread from the finish to the back of the body, slowly dominating the entire experience reminding you that even though this is the 2011 vintage, it is still young and nowhere near it’s fullest expression.

We opened a 1992 GSM by this winemaker earlier this year. It was a true honor to partake in such a well built well preserved wine. So tonight we continue to explore this winemaker’s craft and how it evolves. There are moments where we feel fortunate to indulge in such art in a bottle. This would be one of them.

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Reserve: 2015 Resolute by Iron Hub

Tonight’s occasion: 2015 Resolute by Iron Hub, Amador County, California. This wine inched ever so slightly ahead of their Esola Zinfandel. Both capping a respectable lineup of well built wines. It has a restrained nose with a suggestion of oak. If you don’t like big earthy noses, but like a big wine, you will like this one. It is somewhat fruit forward but not as much as one might expect from the region.

The body has a really good balance of acid, spice and fruit, quite impressive when you consider it has a 14.7% ABV. A testament to the winemaker’s craft. The finish is smooth with a healthy amount of tannic grip. It’s a great sipper, a high quality conversation wine. Several days ago I explored the obscure Italian varietal Aglianico. Little did I know I would encounter it this weekend. This is a refreshing, surprisingly approachable take on that grape. Well done guys!

1999 Syrah (Sentinel Oak) by Terre Rouge

Tonight’s occasion: 1999 Syrah (Sentinel Oak Vineyard) by Terre Rouge * Easton Wines of Shenandoah Valley, California.

It has an elusive nose with a hint of oaky chocolate, maybe a little plum.

Once opened it almost vanishes. Body has a mature late stage balance with a hint of acidity that gently and patiently segues into the finish which is introduced by a very brief bite of spice before riding into the sunset with a final gentle wave of mild tannic grip. This wine is ripe and has been ripe for a while.

After 20 years of patiently waiting, it came right out of the bottle ready with the posture of an old sage. It needs no decanting. It is absolutely beautiful. I cannot say enough about a winemaker whose craft shows so well after so long. A bottle like this is a distinct honor, privilege and true occasion. Where were you in 1999? Now imagine where this winemaker was at the same time.

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