I love them b/c their wines are truly worth the money – not something that you can say about many places. I also hate them b/c they charge what their wines are worth.
Their average Cabernet is $95 – $140/bottle, and everything else from Syrah to Zinfandel to Chardonnay is ~$50/bottle. Yes, I save a little via the wine club, but still, these are NOT cheap wines.
I’ll go as far to say that these are one of only a HANDFUL of wines that I think truly is able to justify it’s pricepoint via craftsmanship, style, grace, uniqueness, and quality.
I got my most recent bill from them for a wine club shipment – $248 AFTER discount, for 4 bottles of wine. Are you FREAKING KIDDING ME? I am cancelling my membership (after 6 years) as soon as I pick up this most recent shipment. That’s ridiculous to charge for wine…or so I thought…until I opened a bottle of ’06 Darien Vineyard Syrah tonight that my mom muled from here from NJ (I couldn’t move my wines to CA, so I had to leave ~10 cases behind).
- Inky black, but from a red standpoint (not the shiraz purple type).
- Earthy, leathery, tobacco-y notes.
- Has the refined structure (and nose) of a nice Oakville Cabernet – not too much of anything, and just enough of everything.
- There is a floral, rose petal like undertone to the nose, that also has just SUCH a refined structure.
- There’s a lot of heat to this wine, more than a usual CA Syrah (which, I actually think that I hate – most CA syrahs). The tannic structure compounds this, I think, as it is “only” 14.4%…but has a nice combo of a body/fruit/tannin balance.
All said and done, it’s a very well done Syrah that is more true to the varietal than Napa – which is where I think that most Syrah’s from Napa go wrong.
In my humble opinion, winemakers let the grapes hang too long, and they get a ‘skunky’ and over-heated aspect to them – like bad zin that is just too HOT. This wine is everything that is the OPPOSITE of that. Balance, refinement, and structure.
Maybe I’ll wait one more shipment to cancel…