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Wine of the Day

2007 JC Cellars Syrah Ventana Vineyards, Arroyo Seco

JC Cellars’ 2007 Ventana Vineyards Syrah was the clear winner in a recent blind, panel tasting of Northern California Syrah I conducted. It combines aromas and flavors of Northern Rhone Syrah with the texture and richness of California. It’s also a lot of wine for just $30.

The source vineyard is in southern Monterey County, just south of the Santa Lucia Highlands but toward the northern extent of the Arroyo Seco AVA. Extremely deep sandy soil — which you’ll see a lot of driving near the town of Monterey on Highway 1 — are not just well-drained but phylloxera resistant. As a result, the Syrah is actually own-rooted.

This Syrah is opaque in the glass with a ruby hue. Its nose is savory and intriguing: black and white pepper, seared game and bay leaf. The full body, rich with fruit and some weight from alcohol, is framed by very fine chalky tannins. Dark berries peek through a velvet curtain of spiced meat, garrigue, five spice and mineral which lasts and lasts. Enjoy it with rosemary and garlic lamb chops or a grilled rib eye. Highly Recommended+.

2007 JC Cellars Syrah Ventana Vineyards, Arroyo Seco
wines-07VENT-0.0.250Rating: Highly Recommended+
Drink: now - 2015
Closure: Cork
Production: 129 cases
Retail Price: $30.00

Winemaker: Jeff Cohn
Origin: Ventana Vineyards, Arroyo Seco AVA, Monterey County
Blend: 100% Syrah
Alcohol: 15%

Service Recommendations
Decanting: Not required
Temperature: 58º - 62º F
Food Pairings: Lamb chops, lamb shank, leg of lamb, lamb shoulder...

The wine above was purchased for review.


Note: JC Cellars is doing some rebranding. They are creating an umbrella brand called Jeff Cohn Wines. Beneath that, JC Cellars will continue as a sub-brand offering single-vineyard, varietal wines. An additional sub-brand called Smoke & Mirrors is being created to offer high-quality blends at attractive prices.


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This article is original to Copyright 2012 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.