Miller Wine Works2004 Syrah, Brookside Vineyard
Gary Miller is trying really hard to get it right. He’s a student of site-specific wines and has forged relationships with growers from whose parcels he’s making single-vineyard bottlings. But with only three vintages under his belt with his own wines, it takes time.
And he got it right with this 2004 Miller Wine Works Syrah from the Napa Valley’s Brookside Vineyard. The site, with three acres of Syrah, is between the Carneros and Mount Veeder appellations. The Brookside hit my sweet spot, despite being just this side of too big.
The Brookside is almost in perfect balance. It tasted to me like a lower-than-15 percent alcohol wine with a less than 3.4 pH – and I was hoping that it was. It isn’t, but somehow Miller figured out a way to integrate the alcohol (15.1 percent) while still maintaining balancing pH (3.61). Those wonky numbers in the end, add up to a wine that’s inky dark with loads of huckleberry aromas. On the palate, the wine is interestingly dusky with some minerality but very pretty. Best of all, it’s tamed and in check, and just delicious. Hold onto it for a year and drink it over the ensuing 10 years.
The wine was aged in 33 percent French oak for 16 months. Alas, there were only 127 cases produced.
Reviewed August 19, 2007 by Alan Goldfarb.
Other reviewed wines from Miller Wine Works
Miller Wine Works
2003 Syrah, Sage Canyon Vineyard
(Napa Valley)Catherine Fallis 9/26/2006
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.