Although it comes from California, Lagier Meredith Syrah reminds me of several Rhône Valley wines. There are times when it mimics Hermitage, with its pure Syrah minerality and herbal, dried berry flavors. Sometimes it’s a bit tighter, more in a Crozes-Hermitage style. Once in a while I think of Cornas when I drink it. It’s a great thing when wines can transcend place and take you on a ride in a time machine.
The 2001 Syrah, from Steve Lagier and Carole Meredith’s tiny vineyard on Mount Veeder in Napa Valley, is tight, compact and dense, marked by dried berry, mineral, cedar and subtle herbal anise touches. It has a long way to go, given its structure and vibrancy. But I’m happy I caught it the other night with a pasta dish, since it’s in a fine stage for enjoyment. I gave it a 93 points, non-blind, same as my original blind-tasting review in 2003—only I’d open up the drink recommendation to allow a little more room past 2012. This wine’s longevity provides further evidence that Syrah on Mount Veeder works quite well.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Lagier Meredith Syrah Mount Veeder 2001 (93, $50, Top 100 of 2003: No. 99).
• Plus, get our quick list of Top Values among California Syrah.