Winery/Vineyard: Falkner Winery
Product/Varietal: 100% Syrah
AVA on Bottle: Temecula Valley
Winemaker: Duncan Williams
88 out of 100 points from Wine Enthusiast.
90 out of 100 points & Gold medal from 2018 Critics Challenge Wine Competition.
How They Describe It
This is another great wine produced by Falkner Winery. This wine from Temecula Valley is dark in color with wonderful flavors of ripe plum. The wine has crisp tannins and very enjoyable fruit flavors that should make this a wine that will last for years. Our Syrah pairs well with meat dishes such as lamb, beef, duck and goose.
How I Describe It
The Falkner 2017 Reserve Syrah is deeply concentrated and predominantly purple in hue. Aging shows every so slightly on the rim, with a twinge of ruby along the edges.
The nose on the Falkner 2017 Reserve Syrah is opulent and ripe, displaying blackberry, boysenberry jam, ripe blueberry, clove, and lavender most prominently. Undertones of leather, anise, potpourri, vanilla, and black pepper join in.
The flavors on the Falkner 2017 Reserve Syrah are just as opulent as on the nose. Blueberry and blackberry are the most conspicuous fruits, though leather, lavender, cedar, black pepper, and black licorice also stand out. Nutmeg, charcoal, bittersweet chocolate, and stewed plum make up the mid-palate and finish.
This is a dry wine with high alcohol (14.8% ABV). Tannins are high, though the wine is at an age where they exhibit both chewy and velvety mouthfeels. Acid is medium-plus. The 2017 Reserve Syrah is undeniably full bodied, with pronounced flavor intensity and a long, luxurious finish.
Why is This Wine Special?
There’s a story behind how I got a hold of a Falkner 2015 Reserve Syrah bottle. On June 5th, Falkner Winery’s wine production facility and tasting room caught fire, most likely from an electrical panel which shorted. No one was injured, but the building was a total loss.
Luckily, Falkner Winery‘s restaurant, Pinnacle, was left unscathed. That hillside structure has multiple stories and a beautiful view. So, until they could build a new tasting room and production facility, Falkner moved their tasting room to the Pinnacle basement.
When I contacted Falkner to recommend a wine to review, tasting room manager Raymond Murgo showed me the bottle of 2015 Reserve Syrah, and said it’s the best he has on hand which survived the fire (there were more bottles coming from Falkner’s storage in the coming days). The thing was, Raymond explained, it’s an ultra-rare bottle which is only available to Falkner’s wine club members, and when they sell at a premium.
This, I thought, was a good thing. Temecula Wine Ratings is about showcasing what makes the Temecula Valley AVA special. So, even hard-to-come-by bottles are valuable on this site if it represents the region’s quality.
Man, am I glad I tasted that bottle. The Falkner 2015 Reserve Syrah spend 18 months aging in new French oak barrels, followed by (as of publishing) an additional 3 ½ years maturing in the bottle. Falkner Winery did an exquisite job creating a deeply structured wine, displaying concentrated, rich black fruit. The oak characteristics are fairly prominent. Yet, even with such strong aromas and flavors, the wine’s more delicate floral and herbal characteristics are beautifully preserved.
When & How I Would Drink It
Syrah is essentially tailor-made to pair with grilled and smoked red meat, and the Falkner 2017 Reserve Syrah fits the bill perfectly. If you opened it up one evening next to a grilled rib eye, you wouldn’t regret it.
That said, Falkner’s 2017 Reserve Syrah is so rich and finely crafted it could easily continue aging for another 10 years. So, if you’re not in a rush, this wine is absolutely a collectible.
How to Get It
Order: Available for Falkner wine club members only. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Bottle Price: $99.95
Cases Produced: 68 cases
Have you tried the Falkner 2015 Reserve Syrah? How did the tasting notes compare with your experience? Leave a comment below.