Lorimar 2017 Syrah

Lorimar 2017 Syrah

Winery/Vineyard: Lorimar Vineyards & Winery
Product/Varietal: 90% Syrah + 5% Petite Sirah + 5% Petit Verdot
Vintage: 2017
AVA on Bottle: Temecula Valley

Rating: 93

Silver Medal at 2020 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
Silver Medal at 2019 San Francisco International Wine Competition.
2014 Vintage received 91/100 points from Wine Enthusiast.

How They Describe It

Full-bodied blend of 90% Syrah, 5% Petite Verdot and 5% Petit Sirah. A stellar vintage with concentrated color, sweet spice on the nose; layered with a fruity zing of blueberries, mulberries and plums culminating in a long powerful finish. Bold brilliance in a bottle. 

Chef Pairing: Churrasco, glazed bourbon pork chops, applewood bacon

How I Describe It

It’s somewhat surprising there is only 5% Petite Sirah in this wine. While the hue takes on the medium ruby typical in Syrahs, there is clearly a deeper pigment, and a even hint of purple — a quality shared by many Temecula Petite Sirahs.

Dusty blackberry, black cherry, and subtle notes of blueberry lead, along with cranberry and currant. Eucalyptus and violet add floral and herbal characteristics, while white pepper and wet stone contribute spice. The winemakers focused on the grapes for this wine; oak notes are more delicate, with well-integrated cedar just behind the fruit.

The Lorimar 2017 Syrah features ripe blackberry, cranberry, and blueberry on the palate. After breathing for 1-2 hours, baked cherry and mulberry manifest. The fresh wood is more pronounced on the tongue than on the nose, along with vanilla and nutmeg. Leather, a tinge of bread doughiness, eucalyptus, stony minerality, and slight rustic brett round out the wine’s bouquet.

This is a dry wine. At 15.5% ABV, it has high alcohol, though it doesn’t have the same kind of burn of many boozy wines. Medium-plus tanning and medium acid contribute to the 2017 Syrah’s medium-plus body. Flavor intensity is medium-plus, and the wine has a long, luxurious finish.

Why is This Wine Special?

Let’s just get this out of the way first: whoever made the decision to blend Lorimar’s Syrah with a small amount of Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot should get a raise. The additions created a remarkable depth of flavor which boosts the already strong Syrah profile — much like how adding lemon or bitters to a cocktail brings out new dimensions to the base spirit.

In full disclosure, the bottle described here was donated by Lorimar Winery & Vineyards. Other than providing the wine itself, there was no exchange of anything which would have influenced or unfairly biased this review.

Lorimar Vineyards & Winery is somewhat new to the Temecula winery scene. The brand began selling wine in 2009, but the tasting room didn’t open until 2012, around the time Temecula Valley wineries were noticeably stepping up their quality.

Lorimar was also among the first wineries to pioneer staying open late on weekends. When there isn’t a statewide quarantine, Lorimar’s outstanding wine and great live music lineups consistently draw impressive crowds on Friday and Saturday nights. In addition, it’s widely considered one of the top wedding spots in Temecula.

When & How I Would Drink It

Barbeque. That’s the perfect pairing — barbeque. Lorimar Sommelier Penny Delgado put it perfectly in her 2019 interview for Drink Me.

One piece of advice I can’t stress enough, though, is to avoid over-chilling this wine. The Lorimar 2017 Syrah has so many rich flavors, and they all deserve to be experienced. Serving red wines too cold can mute some of the fruit notes and amplify the more bitter tannins, throwing the wine a bit off balance. If you have a temperature-controlled wine fridge, I would set it no cooler than 59º F (15º C). If not, keep the bottle in a common refrigerator for no more than 35 minutes.

How to Get It

Order Online: The 2017 Syrah is in pre-release! You can purchase the 2015 and 2016 vintages here and here, but to get your hands on a 2017 bottle now, email wineclub@lorimarwinery.com.

Bottle Price: $52 ($39 for wine club members)

Cases Produced: 820


Have you tried the Lorimar 2017 Syrah? How did the tasting notes compare with your experience? Leave a comment below.

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