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Syrah for potential client?

Hi all,

I'm looking to buy a Syrah to gift a potential client who is known to love Syrahs. The criteria that I'm looking for are:

1. Not more than $100 a bottle
2. From a producer well known for their Syrah (like William Selyem Pinots, Ridge Zinfandels)
3. Absolutely delicious, since he obviously know his Syrah.

Can any of you recommend a good one? I live in San Francisco, so should not be hard to locate a bottle.


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  1. I had a wonderful, very unique-tasting Cote Rotie last weekend: 2004 Gangloff Cote Rotie "La Barbarine." I think that we paid $105 for the bottle, but you should be able to find it for less elsewhere.

    1. OK, so the easiest thing to do is GO to your local wine merchant, and talk to the people there . . . they, obviously, will know what they have in their inventory better than I/we will.

      Among other producers, you may want to look for (in random order) Lagier Meredith, Ridge, Hyde de Villaine (HdV), La Sirena, Ojai, Alban, Novy, and many, many others -- also look for grapes from "Gary's Vineyard"

      2 Replies
      1. re: zin1953

        Thanks! My recollection is that Gary's vineyard is known for their pinot noir. Are they famous for their Syrahs also?

      2. From California Lewis Cellar or Shafer Relentless. From Walla Walla Washington Glen Fiona. I am sure others who are fluent in French wines will have some french ideas for you.

        1 Reply
        1. re: chickstein

          the lewis and shafer rec's are solid and should be easy to find.

        2. When you say Syrah are you willing to include Shiraz? Althought the same wine Syrah is usually assocaited with France and US so I wasn't sure if you needed a non-Aussie (which is usually reffered to as Shiraz). If Aussie is okay I have always liked Peter Lehmann Barossa Valley. It is a very good wine, however, due to it's price point (about $22-$25) you won't blow away a client who knows their Shiraz because it is widely available.

          1. Edmunds St John makes several good syrahs that you should be able to find well under $100.

            1 Reply
            1. re: scrappydog

              For a California wine, these would actually be my first choice.

            2. If you're looking for something a little more obscure, I had some really nice Syrahs at Frick in Sonoma Valley. Full bodied, very California and very rich, but without being over the top. I don't remember the prices exactly, but they were under $100 and well-priced. I believe he currently has a 2000 that's drinking pretty well now.

                1. Absolutely delicious Syrah on your budget?

                  I would get a $75 bottle of 2004 Syrah-James Berry Vineyards from SummerWood (Paso Robles) winery www.summerwoodwine.com. They only sell direct from the winery so you need to get it shipped.

                  1. 2003 Pierre Gaillard Cote Rotie Rose Pourpre for $89.99 @ Premier Cru in Emeryville.

                    It is an impressive wine. Not out-of-this-world. But with a good decant, very impressive.

                    Otherwise I'd look for an Ojai Melville Syrah from any of the pst few years.

                    1. Problem...

                      If you're looking for a phenomenal Shiraz from perfect terroir then look no further than the Barossa and McLaren Valleys of Australia....

                      They are exactly what you're looking for.... well-known "trophy" pride of ownership, rich/dense fruit concentration, long-lived and delicious wines from a region perfect for growing shiraz.... any lover of this grape who "knows his syrah" would be very appreciative.

                      I could name a bunch of great wineries but if you want to shell out upwards of $100 for a bottle of wine, then the key is to focus on GREAT VINTAGES only, and find the best bottle that your wine vendor(s) have available....

                      IMO the best two vintages of the past decade in South Australia have been the 1998's and 2002's... find the best bottle your vendors have and your client will be very appreciative. 2001 is another great year too.

                      1. Are you only looking for domestic syrahs, or including the Aussie Shiraz and the Northern Rhône in your search?

                        1. If it is American Syrahs, try the Terlato Dry Creek Syrah.

                          1 Reply
                          1. Thank you all for the excellent recs. I finally got a bottle of the Shafer Relentless. Actually the store owner recommends the Lewis Cellars Ethan's vineyard, he said it is as good and cost $30 less. However, he also said that the Shafer is harder to find and that sealed the deal.

                            Thanks again.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: Problem Child

                              Now, you are obligated to do a followup, as to how well the client appreciated the wine. And, did you get the contract from them... ?


                              1. re: Bill Hunt

                                Planning to gift it this week, will report back on the reaction. Whether or not I get the contract might take a little longer.

                                1. re: Problem Child

                                  I'm very happy to report back that the client was thrilled with the wine gift and recognizes it as an exceptional wine worthy of special occasions. We'll have to wait and see if the contract comes.

                                  Thanks for all the responses.

                                  1. re: Problem Child

                                    Thanks for the report, and congrats on the selection. Good luck on the contract.


                            2. I second the Pax. Downright delicious.