5 Excellent California Syrahs for Under $20
In the spirit of Dr. Debs’ fantastic blog, Good Wine Under $20, I thought I’d post 5 of my personal favorite California Syrahs for under $20. This list is by no means exhaustive, but represents some of the excellent values I have come across. If you have any to add, feel free to leave them in the comments section.
The Andrew Murray 2005 Tous Les Jours Syrah is a blend of grapes from Andrew Murray’s Estate Vineyard as well as the broader Paso Robles AVA. This is a fruit-driven wine with soft tannins. Andrew Murray Vineyards is known for excellent Syrahs; some of their more expensive ones being “Roasted Slope” and the 100% Estate Syrah. The Tous Les Jours can be purchased for $13.
Beckmen Vineyards is another Syrah specialist that makes a few different bottlings of the grape. The 2005 Big Hands Syrah has ripe currant and blackberry flavors over a layer of spice and smoke. The alcohol level is 14%, and the tannins and acidity balance each other nicely. This wine sells for $15.
Terre Rouge is an excellent Sierra Foothills winery. Although the 2004 Terre Rouge Cotes de l’Quest Syrah 2004 has a deep, concentrated color, this wine drinks very well without any age. Winemaker and owner Bill Easton has produced a great value for Syrah lovers with this wine. It is priced around $16.
Michael David Vineyards is a Lodi winery that is probably best known for 7 Deadly Zins. But they also make an excellent Syrah called 6th Sense. This full-bodied wine has very nice spicy plum and peppery flavors. I have seen this wine available for $18.
Qupe’s 2005 Central Coast Syrah has been widely hailed by the wine press as a great value under $20. It is actually a blend of 93% Syrah, 4% Grenache, Mourvèdre and 1% Counoise giving it added complexity and balance. The grapes are sourced from all over the Central Coast, including Santa Barbara, Paso Robles and Arroyo Grande Valley. You can find this wine for as low as $15.