A Taster's Journey is a newsletter on food, wine and travel. After 15 years of studying, tasting, teaching, and selling wine, I created this newsletter to not only share my passion about wine, but of food and travel as well. Each month I hope to share wines that I am drinking, food that is in season, restaurants that I have enjoyed, and places I have traveled. Enjoy!"


Syrah from Santa Barbara

December 23rd, 2009

Syrah has been one of my favorite varietals ever since I was introduced to the wines of the Rhone Valley. So it is only logical that I became enamored with Syrah from Santa Barbara County once I moved here in 2008. Santa Barbara County has grown from a quaint wine region to a major player in California. This region now has over 100 wineries specializing in Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Syrah. 

Over the last year and a half I have tried every Syrah I could get my hands on. Although I have not had every Syrah in town, I believe I have tasted almost all the better ones.  My two favorites are: Dierberg Syrah 2005 and Babcock Syrah Upper Crust 2007.  Both are full bodied, well balanced and cost about $30. I won’t bore you with all the flavor nuances, but I will say these wines won’t bore you.

A few other wineries that I have been impressed with are: Jaffurs, Melville, and Stolpman; but note that $30 plus is typical for these wines. A couple wineries that are more budget friendly are Beckmen and Consilience.

Each of these wines are delicious; I hope you get the opportunity to try a few. If you have a favorite Syrah that I didn’t mention, please feel free to share it with the group.

 Tis the season…so gulp a Syrah or two and have a Happy Holiday!

4 Responses to “Syrah from Santa Barbara”

  1. Ed–

    Curiously, we just received a bottle of Syrah, which I don’t think I’ve ever tasted, from a friend. It’s from Capay Valley and is sealed in chocolate, which has us confused. Just open through the chocolate? Treat it as part of the bottle?


  2. Ed McAniff says:

    I have heard of pairing wine with chocolate, but never sealed in chocolate. I justed looked at the website…the wine filled bottle is shrink wrpaped and then chocolate is added by hand. They say to break off the chocolate and enjoy. Hopefully both the chocolate and the wine are tasty. Ed

  3. Joseph M. Tumbler says:

    Glad you’re back to keeping the Blog current. We’re having two Shiraz’s for Xmas dinner: 2001 Marquis Phillips S9 and 2001 Shirvington; I’ll let you know. other favorites are Babcock and Cambria Clone 2-A and Tablas Creek Espirit de Beaucastel.

    Have a great Xmas.


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