California, Wine Reviews

Fine Disregard “Lost Row” Stags Leap District Syrah

Fine Disregard "Lost Row" Stags Leap District Syrah
Grape: Syrah
Region: Stags Leap District AVA, Napa Valley, California
Year: 2016
Price: £30 approx

And this is what happens when two winemakers find an abandoned plot of Syrah up a side of a hill in Napa Valley.

One fateful sunny day they decide to make a small batch of a slightly unfashionable wine style in an expensive area of the Napa Valley – Stags Leap district (you may know its most famous inhabitant, Shafer Vineyards Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon).

Napa Valley Syrah

Syrah is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about wines from the Napa Valley. Big bold Cabernet Bordeaux redux, yes. Rhone Valley, no. You’ll find that in more experimental region further south than the Napa Valley.

That’s why a Napa Valley Syrah is considered a bit of a unicorn wine.

Sourced from one row of Syrah vines grafted from Shiraz cuttings from the Barossa Valley in the late 1990s. Not incidentally, this was a peak time for the Barossa Valley style of wine.

It shows how fashion comes and goes.

Now it is a “lost row”. Lucky them because it’s got all the good qualities of Barossa Valley Shiraz (suave tannins, rich fruit) but with a gentler Northern Rhone herbal note (thyme, lavender).

Did these two winemakers eventually leave behind their day jobs at the big wine brand? Or are they still there and kept this as their part-time weekend project?

This red wine says something more than just a side hustle.

Unfortunately, the next vintage, 2017, is the last vintage made of this wine. It’s not purely academic to review it, though.

Isn’t the story of Californian wine still being written? Full of pioneers on the West Coast. And it’s worth being reminded of what Syrah/Shiraz can do in California now the heat is rising.

Fine Disregard “Lost Row” Stags Leap District Syrah

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