Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Wine:Bighorn Cellars 2004 Syrah, Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard (Napa Valley)

Bighorn Cellars

2004 Syrah, Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard
(Napa Valley)

Now here’s as unusual a blend as you’ll find in California, where exotic blends abound. Bighorn has taken some Pinot (11 percent) and blended it with Syrah, both from its Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard. The Pinot, says winemaker Richard Sowalsky, who recently came aboard but did not make this wine, makes the wine “deft on its feet.”

I say that if it were not for the tempering of the Pinot, this wine would be top-heavy. As it is, it has smoky tomato flavors and a bit of earth and tar. But the fruit is toasty, big, and warm, as one would discover in a compote.

The vineyard, which is well-drained and gravelly, gives the grapes a lot of concentration and extract. Composed primarily of alluvial deposits and volcanic rock, Sugarloaf is located on the cool southeastern edge of the city of Napa in the Vaca Hills - the eastern mountain range that defines the Napa Valley. There were only 426 cases produced.

Reviewed February 29, 2008 by Alan Goldfarb.

The Wine

Winery: Bighorn Cellars
Vineyard: Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard
Vintage: 2004
Wine: Syrah
Appellation: Napa Valley
Grapes: Syrah / Shiraz (89%), Pinot Noir (11%)
Price: 750ml $36.00

Review Date: 2/29/2008

The Reviewer

Alan Goldfarb

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.