Rhone Rangers 2011 Grand Tasting: A Love for Rhone – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

I enjoy each Rhone Rangers and especial this years grand tasting.  Each tasting I plan on tasting everything—I start as soon as the event is opened and stay to the very close.    I could not taste everything but I sought out as representative body of wine that I could.

Syrah has been noted on a downtrend with sales down 11% according to Nielsen.  A few winery representatives I spoke with said the environment was tough and many were optimistic about the future.  And there were a few labels that were calling the contents a blend when in fact they could have been called a Syrah.

Rhone Rangers was a very good showing to reveal Syrah’s diversity—and this diversity is key to many a wide range of tastes.  I don’t think wine producers were trying to make Syrah the “next big thing” as the total acres are far from outpacing Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or even Pinot Noir.  Syrah is not only has diversity in terms of standing on it’s own it also is a dynamic wine to blend.

US Syrah is here to stay and I think the downtrend is only temporary.  There are simply too many great Syrah to not only be tasted but to be enjoyed not as one time buy but an ongoing trend.

This tasting also highlighted dazzling Mourvèdre and Grenache—probably the best tasting I have had in quite a number of vintages.

My rankings for the wines I tasted at Rhone Rangers 2011.  I will write up each wine at a later point.

Novy Family Rosella Vineyard Santa Lucia Highland Syrah – 2008 – 9.2

Novy Family Rosella Syrah – 2008 – 9.2

Zaca Mesa Santa Ynez Valley Estate Reserve Syrah – 2007 – 9.2

Kenneth Volk Live Oak Vineyard Paso Robles Viognier –  2009 – 9.2

Zenaida Paso Robles Petite Sirah – 2008 – 9.2

Zenaida Paso Robles GSM Wanderlust – 2008 – 9.1

Andrew Murray Terra Bella Vineyard Paso Robles Grenache – 2008 – 9.1

Zenaida Paso Robles Hell Block Syrah = 2007 – 9.1

Zaca Mesa Santa Ynez Valley Roussanne – 2007 – 9.1

Robert Hall Paso Robles Rhone de Robles – 2007 – 9.1

Kenneth Volk Nielson Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Syrah – 2007 – 91

Kenneth Volk Enz Valley Lime Kiln Valley Mourvèdre – 2007 – 9.1

Miraflores El Dorado Syrah – 2004 – 9.1

Cabot Humboldt County Kimberley’s Syrah – 2008 – 9.1

Kenneth Volk Nevarez Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Roussanne – 2008 – 9.1

Kenneth Volk Rio San Benito Grenache 2008 – 9. 1

Novy Family Judge Family Vineyard Grenache – 2007- 9 1

Andrew Murray Reserve Syrah – 2007 – 9.1

Anglim Paso Robles Syrah – 2005 – 9.1

Anglim Hastings Ranch Paso Robles Mourvèdre – 2007 –  9.1

Cabot Humboldt County Kimberley’s Vineyard Syrah – 2006 – 9.1

La Diligence Stagecoach Vineyard Napa Valley Syrah –2008 – 9.1

Quivera Dry Creek Valley Grenache – 2008 – 9.1

Ridge Lytton Estate Petite Sirah  -2009 – 9.1

Lone Madrone The Will – 2007 – 9.1

Martinelli Zio Tony Russian River Valley Syrah – 2007 – 9.1

Maclaren Russian River Valley Syrah – 2008 – 9.2

Maclaren Dry Stack Vineyard Syrah – 2008 – 9.1

Kaleidos Paso Robles Grenache – 2006 – 9.1

Stoplman Santa Ynez Valley Estate Syrah – 2009 – 9.1

JC Rock Pile Vineyard Syrah – 2007 – 9.1

Dobbes Sundown Vineyard Rogue Valley Syrah – 2007 – 9.1

Lone Madrone La Mezcla White Blend – 2008 – 9.0

Holly Hill Estate Mourvèdre – 2009 – 9.0 –

JC Stagecoach Marsanne – 2008 – 9.0

JC Eagle Point Ranch Syrah – 2007 – 9.0

J. Lohr Paso Robles Gesture GSM – 2008 – 9.0

J. Lohr Paso Robles Mourvèdre – 2008 – 9.0

J. Lohr Tower Road Petite Sirah – 2008 – 9.0

Kaleidos Paso Robles Syrah – 2006 – 9.0

Minassian-Young Paso Robles Mourvèdre – 2007 – 9.0

Clay House Estate Petite Sirah 2007 – 9.0

Saarlos Los Olivos Grenache Blanc – 2009 – 9.0

Saarlos Los Olivos Syrah – 2008 – 9.0

Stoplman la cuadrilla Santa Ynez Valley – 2009 – 9.0 –

Stoplman Santa Ynez Valley Reserve Syrah – 9.0

Quivera Dry Creek Valley Elusive Red Blend – 2008 – 9.0

Quivera Dry Creek Valley Mourvèdre – 2007 – 9.0

Paradise Vineyard Paradise View Sonoma Coast Syrah – 2007 – 9.0

Chateau St. Michelle Ethos Syrah – 2007 – 9.0 –

Adelaida Paso Robles The Vision – 2008 – 9.0

Bonny Doon Bien Nacido Syrah – 2007 – 9.0

Ridge Lytton Estate Syrah Grenache Blend – 2006 – 9.0 –

Ridge Lytton Estate Grenache – 2009 – 9.0

Zaca Mesa  Estate Santa Ynez Valley Viognier – 2009 – 9.0 –

Andrew Murray Santa Ynez White Blend – 2010  – 9.0

Zaca Mesa Santa Ynez Valley Grenache Blanc – 2008 – 9.0

Cabot Humboldt County Syrah – 2007 – 9.0

Cabot Humboldt County Klamath Cuvee – 2007 – 9.0

Lone Madrone Points West Paso Robles  White Blend – 2008 – 9.0

Lone Madrone La Mezcla Paso Robles Red Blend – 2007 – 9.0

Kenneth Volk Enz Valley Lime Kiln Valley Mourvèdre – 2008 – 9.0

Miner Family Simpson Vineyard California Viognier– 2009 – 9.0

Miner Family Odyssey Napa Valley Rhone Blend – 2008 – 9.0

Zaca Mesa Santa Ynez Valley Z Cuvee – 2007 – 9.0

Miraflores El Dorado Syrah – 2005 – 9.0 –

Zaca.Mesa Santa Ynez Valley Estate Syrah – 2007 – 9.0

Andrew Murray Watch Hill Santa Barbara Syrah –  2008 – 9.0

Zaca Mesa Santa Ynez Valley Z Three – 2006 – 9.0

La Diligence Napa Valley Marsanne – 2009 – 9.0

Novy Family Russian River Valley Syrah – 2007 – 9.0

Zenaida Paso Robles Grenache Blanc – 2010 – 8.9

Robert Hall Paso Robles Syrah – 2008 – 8.9

Angilm  Paso Robles Grenache – 2006 – 8.9

Martinelli Lolita Ranch Russian River Valley Syrah – 2007 – 8.9

J. Lohr South Ridge Paso Robles – 2009 – 8.9

Adelaida Paso Robles Grenache – 2008  – 8.9

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About James Melendez

II love wine and business. I am obsessed with the subject, the art, the history, the sciences, organization management, and making things less complex I have been a former national wine marketing manager for a large off-premise food and wine retailer (280+ retail locations in 30 US States); the love for wine taught me the good practice of using the best methodologies to right side a business which unto itself is complex. Further complexity is wine. Wine simple to enjoy and yet profoundly complex because of many factors: Many grape varieties States of wine: sparkling, still and fortified wines Vintage Blends Regions/AVAs/DOCs etc. Many producer styles Many producers Limited supply Limited and often restricted distribution My experience is still a lot of intimidation with respect to wine. Wine means many things to many people; status, fear, success, ‘you’ve arrived’, enjoyment, good times, tradition and even ceremony. I have consulted with wine producers and association. I have spoken on Wine and Social Media, Wine and Video and The Business of Wine in conferences in the United States and Europe. Beer and spirits do have the same dynamics–there are many producers but compared to wine there is no other consumer product like it. I have been writing about since November 2006 on my site and I have over 2,890 wine videos on my YouTube channel talking about general wine subject matter as well as specific educational topics on wine and reviews. I have been a wine judge and have traveled to many wine countries in the new and old world. Wine has taken me to great places. Life is tough for most of us and it is nice to celebrate life with those near and even far. What wine is really about is sitting around a table with family and friends raising your wine glass and saying—to life! I love to write about travel, food, technology and business–please subscribe! Salute, *** A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions around the world. Read more of my wine reviews:jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2020, 2018, 2017, 2010 James P. Melendez – All Rights Reserved.
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