Winery/Vineyard: Robert Renzoni Vineyards, Don Fernando Vineyard
Product/Varietal: 100% Syrah
AVA on Bottle: Temecula Valley
How They Describe It
Aromas of ripened black currants, tobacco, and clove on the nose followed by rich flavors of boysenberry jam, with a lingering finish of ripened blueberries and vanilla. This wine shows rich, chewy tannins and well balanced acidity. Ready to enjoy now, however will soften in the next 3 years. Aged 24 months in 50% new French oak. Unfiltered.
Winemaker Notes Olivia Bue
The Syrah grapes spend their days listening to opera music at Don Fernando Vineyard, which is mirrored in the undeniable sophistication this wine shows. Although the summer days were hot in 2016, the cool nights kept the fruit chilled through lat emorning, protecting them from too much midday heat. Our team used careful sorting to ensure that only perfect grapes reached the tank which helped develop intense flavor and depth in this magnificent wine. WINE ENTHUSIAST 91 PTS.
PH/TA/ALC 3.62 / 6.3g/L / 14.7%
PRODUCED 94 CASES
How I Describe It
Robert Renzoni’s 2016 Riserva Syrah is deeply colored with a lot of purple in the hue. In the glass, the wine appears richly concentrated, with little thinning along the rim.
Even before your nose reaches the glass, pronounced aromas of juicy boysenberry and blueberry spring forth. A blast of additional dark fruit includes blackberry, mulberry, and black cherry. Freshly baked croissant with a touch of butterscotch and smoke describe the wine’s fermentation and aging process, with undertones of lavender, tomato leaf, and sage.
Stewed blackberry, blueberry, black pepper, sage, and fennel appear out front. On the mid-palate emerges toasted cedar, clove, baking chocolate, and a hint of sourdough bread. Leather, fig, and truffle make up the finish.
This is a dry wine with high alcohol (14.7% ABV), high tannins, and high acid. It’s about as full-bodied a wine as you can get, though the acid lends some crispness. Flavors have pronounced intensity with a medium-plus finish.
Why is This Wine Special?
First of all, how about that bottle art?! The Riserva line of Robert Renzoni wines all have that cool decal. It’s a super clever branding concept.
There’s a certain hesitance among some Temecula winemakers to produce “fine” wines — in other words, wines which are meant for aging. Granted, there are a few which do, but my impression is most producers don’t fully appreciate how outstanding their wines have become over the last few years, or are too tentative to admit it. Instead, many wineries flirt with the fine wine space, selling high quality wines at premium price points, but casting aside cellaring recommendations largely as superfluous.
That’s why it makes me so happy when Temecula wineries understand just how talented their winemakers are, and offer wine drinkers a line of super-premium fine wines. That’s what Robert Renzoni did here, featuring winemaker Olivia Bue’s craftsmanship.
The Robert Renzoni 2016 Riserva Syrah is the kind of bottle you brag about having. Syrahs derived from hand-picked berries can be priced two or three times as much as this bottle. Not only is it far more labor intensive, the weeding out process makes the total yield smaller. Such is the case here, where only 94 cases of the 2016 Riserva Syrah exist in the whole world. However, all that extra work also makes the juice far higher quality.
When & How I Would Drink It
Similar to most Temecula Syrahs, the highly concentrated full body of the Robert Renzoni 2016 Riserva Syrah make it an ideal pair with grilled and broiled red meat. Throw a ribeye or New York strip on the barbecue, and call it a day.
Then again, the slightly higher acidity in this wine also go well with vinegar-seasoned meat dishes, like marinated beef ribs, shepherds pie, or even lamb or beef gyros.
How to Get It
Bottle Price: $95.00 ($76.00 for wine club members)
Cases Produced: 94 cases
Have you tried the Robert Renzoni 2016 Riserva Syrah? How did the tasting notes compare with your experience? Leave a comment below.