2003 Four Gates Syrah, Special Reserve, Santa Clara Valley
This is not the first time I have written about the 2003 Four Gates Syrah and it will not be the last one either, as I have at least one more bottle left, thank goodness. However, this one was as good as I have tasted in sometime and one that continues to impress in its body, richness, and flavor profile. I have had the joy to taste some Brobdingnagian Syrah wines, and it reminds me of the Four Gates Syrah in so many ways. The 2004 and 2005 vintages, while nice, were never in the same league, which is a shame, and the fruit, of course was not sourced from the four gates vineyards – as they come from the Santa Clara Valley. Still, the fruit shows itself so well that it almost makes you wonder why there are only three vintages. The 2009 Four Gates Syrah comes from the same vineyard and in many ways is as blue and beautiful as the 2004 or 2005, but unfortunately, none compare with the 2003.
I decided this week that though we were having no guests it was time to enjoy a bottle of the 2003 Syrah. It opened beautifully and showed all of it juicy fruit from the get go. It laid its soul bare within 20 minutes of opening and continued its fruit forward and oak induced romp for a couple of days! This is not a wine that I am worried is going away anytime soon, and a wine that I will not open again for two years. That said, if you have one or two bottles left, and have not enjoyed it recently, open the bottle and be done with it! There is no reason to try to time this wine perfectly! The wine is at its peak now and will be there for a couple of years – but why wait? Drink up and be merry. Since, I have had this a few times now in the past year – I am waiting to pop another one open.
The wine note follows below:
2003 Four Gates Syrah, Special Reserve – Score: A- to A
This was the first Syrah that Four Gates Winery has ever released, and maybe the best one so far. The wine is clearly ready to drink but it still has some sea legs underneath it. The wine starts off as black as the night with lovely blackberry, black plum, blueberry, smoky notes, and graphite. The mouth on this full bodied and rich wine starts off with layers upon layers of concentrated black and blue fruit, blackcurrant, raspberry, good oak extraction, green bell pepper, lovely green notes, and lovely cedar that is now coming together into a lovely mouth coating and round wine. The finish is long and balanced with spoons of spice, cloves, black pepper, baker’s chocolate, and tobacco, on a bed of ripe black and blue fruit. The fruit is not as sweet as the Weiss and Brob wines, but rather the wine is more Rhone in style with mineral, oak extraction, leather, black pepper, and baker’s spices.