95 points, James Suckling: Gorgeous aromas of stems and spices with crushed berries and beautiful florals. Coffee beans and charcoal, too. Medium body, firm and silky tannins and lovely caressing fruit. Very long and delicious. Made from organic grapes. Very drinkable now but better in a year or two.
94 points Jeb Dunnuck:
Coming mostly from the Pisoni Vineyard, with the balance Garys and Soberanes, the 2015 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir offers terrific depth and concentration, with loads of black cherry, black raspberry, spring flower and forest floor aromas and flavors. Brought up in 50% new barrels, itís a serious appellation blend that has real depth and length, and overdelivers in spades. Drink it anytime over the coming 4-5 years. (JD) (7/2017)
95 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous: The 2014 Que Syrah Vineyard is another deep, super-intense Syrah. Specifically, the interplay of varietal aromatics and deep, pliant fruit - rare to see in the same site - play off each other in a wine that dazzles from start to finish. Inky blue/purplish fruit, spices, mint, lavender and dark spices add shades of nuance on the long, beautifully persistent finish. Like all the Arnot-Roberts Syrahs, the Que Syrah was done with 100% whole clusters and aged in neutral oak.
93-95 points, Vinous: Brilliant purple. Powerful, mineral-tinged cherry and blackberry scents, along with notes of bacon fat, licorice, potpourri and pungent flowers. Pure, concentrated and energetic on the palate, offering deeply concentrated black and blue fruit flavors that gain weight and become sweeter with air. Closes extremely long, sappy and sweet, juicy acidity adding lift and cut to the blue-fruit-dominated, youthfully tannic finish.
96 points, Ian d'Agata, Vinous: Good bright, dark red-ruby. Very deep, ripe, pure aromas and flavours of blueberry, blackberry, violet, minerals, tobacco and peppery spices. Densely packed, creamy and firm, almost brooding in fact, with compelling sweetness of fruit but not heavy owing to its firm, harmonious acids. Serious, juicy wine that is still very much and infant and that will require patience. Itís also my early candidate for best 2011 Brunello Riserva of the year.
93-95 points Vinous
Vivid purple. A highly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe cherry and blackberry, complicated by notes of candied flowers, incense and smoky Indian spices. Sappy and expressive, offering intense red and dark berry and violet flavors underscored by juicy acidity. Impressive urgency is supported by a nervy spine of acidity. Shows excellent focus and vivacity on the gently tannic finish, which lingers with superb floral tenacity. (JR) (3/2016)
92-94 points, Allen Meadows, Burghound: An ultra-pure and fresh nose of green apple, spiced pear and citrus blossom gracefully slides into overtly stony and powerful broad-shouldered flavors that despite their significant size and weight, are crystalline in their transparency on the superbly long and well-balanced finale. This is most impressive and very clearly built-to-age so note well that this is definitely going to require some patience.94 points, Stephen Tanzer, Vinous: Bright yellow. Very ripe aromas of lemon oil, grilled nuts, toasted bread and brown spices. Fat, rich and very ripe, with mineral and spice flavors accented by lemon zest, lime and lavender. This initially struck me as weightier and less classic than the 2015, but the wine's strong spine of stony acidity gives it terrific penetration and really frames and extends the fruit on the long finish. Still, this big, smooth wine is showing beautifully today. Winemaker Sieve notes that the south/southeast exposition of the vines gives this wine a crunchy fruit character along with considerable weight.
Still in barrel at the time of this tasting, the 2013 Hermitage will certainly be one of the wines of the vintage. Offering classic, granite-induced notes of smoked dark fruits, graphite, searing minerality and bouquet garni, this sensational Hermitage has medium to full-bodied richness, beautiful mid-palate density and building tannin, all with the freshness and purity of the vintage. Reminiscent of a more backwards, tight, focused and granite-driven year (I asked Jean-Louis if there was a similar vintage he could recall, he commented that he couldn't think of one), it has solid ripeness in its aromas and flavors, good sweetness in its tannin, and a great finish. I suspect it will need 7-8 years of cellaring and keep for 20-25 years or more. Range: 94-97
Solidly built, with a bolt of charcoal through the core of dark cherry, plum and blackberry preserves. Lots of bay, sage and leather fill in the background. Best from 2019 through 2034.
94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Medium red. Vibrant strawberry, raspberry, anise and floral aromas could fill a room. Juicy and sharply delineated, offering sweet red berry and cherry preserve flavors with compelling accents of licorice, sassafras, lavender and smoky minerals. Extremely elegant wine with outstanding finishing cut and persistence. Not many grand cru Burgundies could match this for finesse. (JR) (1/2009)
The elegant 2006 Rayas Chateauneuf du Pape is not as powerful as the 2005 or 2007, but it offers a deep ruby color as well as opulent, fleshy, kirsch and black raspberry characteristics along with hints of spring flowers and loamy soil. A sexy, showy, beautifully balanced, silky effort, it is already approachable, and should drink well for two decades. (RP) (10/2008)
A restrained style, with shadings of sandalwood and rose water weaving through the lightly mulled red currant, raspberry and cherry fruit. Blood orange, vanilla bean and mineral hints check in on the finish. Drink now through 2025. (JM) (9/2010)
Truly majestic concentration. Sweet, rich and spicy. Amazingly dense and youthful. Dry with lots of tannin on the finish. Put this away for ages. 18++/20 points (3/2009)
Sold as 6 pack case only. 3 bottles each of the following wines.Touche Syrah - Robert Parker Rating 100 PointsLastly, the utterly perfect 2012 Syrah Touche reminds me of a great vintage of Guigalís Cote Rotie La Landonne. A blend of 93% Syrah, 5% Petite Sirah and 2% Viognier, all from the Eleven Confessions Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills, it spent 40 months in 78% new French oak. Deep, concentrated, full-bodied and layered, with a multidimensional texture and to-die-for notes of camphor, cured meats, violets, smoke and assorted dark fruits, this beauty has fine, perfectly ripe tannin and blockbuster length. Give it 3-4 years and drink over the following two decades.Rattapante Grenache - Robert Parker Rating 100 PointsA perfect wine any way you look at it, the 2012 Grenache Rattrapante comes all from the Eleven Confessions Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills and spent 33 months in 27% new French oak. My notes start - and end - with ďWow.Ē Giving up tons of black raspberries, peppery herbs, licorice, dried flowers and cured meats, itís a massively concentrated, rich and layered Grenache that somehow manages to stay graceful, lively and fresh on the palate. There are roughly 800 cases of this elixir and any Grenache lover should do their best to latch onto a bottle (or two). Itís also worth noting that this cuvee saw 26% whole clusters, which is a small change from past vintages.