Winery/Vineyard: Chapin Family Vineyards
AVA on Bottle: Temecula Valley
Winemaker: Steve Chapin, Kristine Overlaur
4.3 of 5 stars on Vivino.
How They Describe It
Chapin Family Vineyards is a winery dedicated to making small batches of handcrafted wine utilizing traditional methods with state of the art monitoring systems which we have utilized on this Estate grown Syrah. This beautiful Syrah has notes of blackberry, coffee and mocha on the palate with a velvety texture and pleasing long smooth finish. This Syrah pairs well with grilled meats, vegetables, wild game and beef stew as well as cheese, especially aged hard cheeses like Gouda. Enjoy!
How I Describe It
Right out of the bottle, this wine screams character. The color is mainly a deep ruby-purple. But four years of aging is showing with just a smidge of garnet around the rim. Essentially, it’s the full red wine color spectrum.
Quintessential Syrah aromas of black currant, blueberry, blackberry, and juicy raspberry hit from the start. The fruit is complemented with undertones of violets and antique leather-bound books. Hints of eucalyptus and turned earth fuse with vanilla and toast.
Similar to the nose, fruit flavors lead with blueberry, blackberry, black currant, plum, and ripe raspberry. A slight doughy note mixes well from the vanilla and toast from time in oak. Leather and turned earth point toward bottle aging, and indicate the Chapin 2016 Syrah Estate could do well in a cellar for another 5-10 years.
This is a dry wine. At 14.6%, alcohol is within normal range for New World Syrahs, but high for wines writ large. Medium-plus acid and very well-balanced medium-plus tannin contribute to the wine’s full body. Flavor intensity is decidedly pronounced, with a medium-plus finish.
Why is This Wine Special?
There is no shortage of wineries in Temecula (and elsewhere) which, in order to attract throngs of potential drinkers to their properties, spend lavish amounts of money on opulent façades and ancillary offerings. But there are a small few wineries — ones with loyal, die-hard, almost evangelical followings — which quietly devote their time and treasure simply to making superb wine.
Chapin Family Vineyards is one of the latter. Chapin is the last winery on the main Rancho California Road drag. And when it comes to signage, their neighbors, Doffo (which also makes terrific wines), seems to have an edge. But make no mistake, Chapin’s property is beautiful, the hardwood-lined tasting room epitomizes class. And if the rest of their wine portfolio is as outstanding as the 2016 Syrah Estate, they make some of the best wine in the Temecula Valley.
When & How I Would Drink It
We’ve spent a lot of time reviewing Syrahs on TWR, and with each come similar pairing suggestions: barbecued/grilled beef, pork belly, smoked gouda, burgers, etc. The same applies with the Chapin 2016 Syrah Estate. The higher alcohol allows for pairing with even richer foods, so don’t shy away from a little grease.
The wine’s full body also makes it a terrific evening aperitif for after you’ve finished dining. Whether your post-dinner ritual involves curling up in front of a fire, watching a guilty pleasure on television, or reading a good book, the 2016 Estate Syrah would complete the occasion well.
How to Get It
Order: https://www.chapinfamilyvineyards.com/prod-401903/Syrah-Estate-2014.html (As of 5/5/2020, Chapin hasn’t updated their online shopping page from the 2014 vintage, but they are currently selling the 2016.)
Bottle Price: $54 ($43.20 for wine club members)
Cases Produced: ~300
Have you tried the Chapin 2016 Syrah Estate? How did the tasting notes compare with your experience? Leave a comment below.