Highland Estates - Kendall Jackson Vineyard Estates2004 Syrah, Alisos Hills
(Santa Barbara County)
The only Syrah in KJ’s Highland Estates hillside series, this is a substantial, deep-flavored, layered wine of complexity. With its fine-grained tannins and sweet blueberry aromas, the wine would be a perfect foil with let’s say, venison with blueberry sauce. In other words, dare I say it – and I will – it’s a wonderful food wine that will age 10 to 12 years.
The grapes from Alisos Hills Vineyard, located south of Santa Maria and north of Buellton, were picked from the warmer side of what is normally a cool growing region; which is just perfect for Syrah. The grapes were picked from clay and sandy loam knolls on southwest-facing slopes at elevations of 500 to 1000 feet, which is a similar geology to the Rhône.
The wine was aged for 21 months in French and American oak, 30 percent of which was new. The listed alcohol is an uncharacteristically low (by California standards) 13.5 percent. There were a little more than 500 cases produced.
Reviewed June 11, 2007 by Alan Goldfarb.
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Winery: Highland Estates - Kendall Jackson Vineyard Estates
Alan Goldfarb has been writing about and reviewing wine for 17 years. His reviews have been published in the St. Helena Star, San Jose Mercury, San Francisco Examiner, Decanter, and Wine Enthusiast, among others. Not once has he used a point system, star system, or an iconic symbol to quantify a wine. What counts in Mr. Goldfarb’s criteria when judging a wine is: how it tastes in the glass; is it well-constructed; its food compatibility; and presence of redeeming regional attributes.