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Senior editor James Laube, Wine Spectator's expert on the wines of California, joined the magazine in 1983.
James Laube

A Toasty California Syrah from Old Vines

Rosenblum Syrah Solano County England-Shaw Vineyard 2002

James Laube
Posted: September 25, 2009

Rosenblum Cellars perhaps uncovered more off-the-beaten-path vineyards than any other California winery of this era, and none more remote and noteworthy than England Shaw. Katie England and Ken Shaw own this 17-acre Syrah site in Winters, Calif., east of U.C. Davis, in Solano County. The vineyard was planted in the 1960s, making the vines among the oldest in the state.

I came across the 2002 vintage the other night and pulled the cork, anxious to find out how this wine was aging. Dark in color, the Syrah was marked by sour cherry and berry, with hints of mocha and espresso, and was smooth and polished on the palate. You get a touch of heat on the finish, but at age seven, it's drinking well and there’s plenty of life ahead. 91 points, non-blind.

WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Rosenblum Syrah Solano County England-Shaw Vineyard 2002 (93, $30).

• Plus, get our quick list of Top Values among California Syrah.

Stewart Lancaster
beaver,pa —  September 25, 2009 9:57am ET
Good to hear. I have sev. different vintages still in my cellar. They are heavy on the alcohol(>15%), almost port-like
Troy Peterson
Burbank, CA —  September 25, 2009 2:01pm ET
Good to see this one James. FYI, I like a lot of things about this new website layout with the STRONG exception of how the blogs are displayed on the home page. It used to be easy to glance at all of you and know what you had last written about. I'm a lazy clicker. What can I say?
James Laube
Napa, CA —  September 25, 2009 2:08pm ET
Stewart, this one was big, but not porty. Showed more of an espresso bean-oak edge than overripe grapes.
Fred Brown
Maryland —  September 25, 2009 7:26pm ET
1960's - among the oldest Syrah vines in the state?

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