Our Wine Buying Guide to Syrah Wines Under 20 a Bottle
We just couldn’t believe our eyes! While looking for great Syrah wines for under 20; we actually found a 93 point French wine! We also were lucky enough to find several Gold and Silver medal winners too. Enjoy this great wine list.
Dolines de l’Hortus 2008 France
93-Point Grand Cru Exclusive
35 years ago, Jean Orliac swapped his home and job as an agriculture professor for a tent on a windswept mountain … and the prospect of no income for years. He took the family with him and together, they toiled to make the premium wines Jean always dreamed of …
Today, that same mountain (Pic Saint-Loup) is about to be made a Grand Cru — the pinnacle of French wine. And the buzz around the Orliac family’s wines continues to grow:
“The pioneering Orliac family’s dramatically situated Domaine de l’Hortus continue to fine-tune their expertise both in the vineyards and the cellar.” (The Wine Advocate)
Family and Friends Only…
Now here’s the good part: Jean’s son just happens to be engaged to the niece of Tony Laithwaite’s chief winemaker Jean-Marc. So of course, it’s best wines and best prices for friends and family.
This gives you exclusive access to Jean’s acclaimed, 93-point Dolines l’Hortus 2008 . If you need more convincing, here are top U.K. critics The Wine Gang on Dolines l’Hortus 2008:
“Another standout wine from Jean Orliac’s superb Domaine de l’Hortus, this is a wine of great finesse and elegance. Silky texture, spice, garrigue and leather combine in a restrained but supple, great value 50/50 Syrah/Grenache blend. 93 points.”
If you love rich, authentic southern French reds, this one’s too good to miss. Order now. laithwaiteswine.com
CS Charles Smith Syrah 2008 Washington USA
In 2008, Charles Smith received 97, 98 and 99 Parker Point Scores for his Syrah. And the following colorful review: “Larger than life, an innovator, outspoken, you name it … but above all the man is a brilliant winemaker who knows where all the best fruit is hidden.”
In 2009, Food & Wine magazine named him American Winemaker of the Year, calling his “modernist” Charles Smith label wines “among the best values anywhere.”
In 2011 (and over the next few years), you can enjoy his sumptuous, “modernist” 2008 Syrah. And like all Charles’ wines, it has a wonderfully smooth texture. Look too for complex layers of ripe raspberry, mocha and tobacco.
Les Hauts de Mourral Selection Parcellaire 2009 France
A luxuriously rich, barrel-aged ‘Grande Réserve,’ flagship red of Jean-Michel Bonfils’s multi medal-winning Château Millegrand-Mourral, in the heart of the Minervois.
In the superb 2009 vintage, this impressive estate produced an indulgent, special cuvée from a blend of the estate’s most concentrated old vine fruit. This Selection Parcellaire is made up of 80% Syrah, 15% Grenache and 5% Mourvèdre, aged 10 months in the finest French oak barrels — a quality trademark of the Bonfils family. Jean-Michel has a very strong connection to Bordeaux and has worked extensively with Georges Pauli of Château Gruaud Larose … so he ages his wines in the same barrels used by the famed, $100-a bottle Bordeaux château.
Aromas of cassis and red berries, wild herbs and hints of exotic spices. On the palate, silky dark berries, ripe plums with notes of cocoa, licorice, spice and toasty oak. Decant an hour prior to serving to allow these aromas and flavors to develop, then enjoy with hearty red meat dishes.
Domaine Saint Francois VV Syrah 2010 France
Syrah is the grape behind the Northern Rhône’s ultra-expensive Hermitage. It’s also making fruit-packed wines in the Minervois, where abundant sunshine brings out its black fruit power.
Here’s a velvety, old-vine example from Jean Comus’ small domaine, just north of the ‘Cru’ village of La Livinière. Jean’s old vines (vieilles vignes) deliver so much concentrated, well-balanced black fruit flavor that winemaker Frédéric Cauquil insisted on keeping the Syrah pure, and used no oak. His decision paid off well, as judges at the 2011 International Wine Challenge’s Catavinum Competition just gave it a silver-medal nod. Just wait until you taste how delicious it really is …
Sun-baked blackberry fruit, edged with the Languedoc’s trademark wild herb notes. Try it with wild game dishes.
Lionstone Selection Dierberg Syrah 2008 California
California’s Santa Ynez Valley is gaining international acclaim for its excellent wines — and Jim Dierberg’s award-winning estate is a reason for the reputation. Dierberg head winemaker Nick de Luca is well-known for his quality-obsessed, ‘no recipe’ approach to Syrah, with the 90+ point scores to back it up. Made with 100% estate-grown fruit and given a generous 18 months in fine oak, this expressive 2008 is brimming with opulent dark fruit and peppery spice.
As with any top-notch Rhône Syrah, this beauty is made for sipping with hearty game or lamb dishes. Decant an hour before serving to fully release its complex aromas and flavors.
Chateau Prat de Cest Corbieres 2008 France
This fabulously rich Corbières, from master Hervé Sabardeil, is one of the great wines of the southern French Languedoc – and, it just won gold at the Concours des Grand Vins du Languedoc-Roussillon, the region’s top competition.
Made using Carignan, Grenache and Syrah (the three grape mainstays of Châteauneuf-du-Pape), Hervé’s take on the blend has been received warmly by top critics. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate has rated previous vintages of this wine more highly than many wines from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, acknowledging that it also offers “awesome bang for the buck.”
Using his 20 years of winemaking experience, Hervé gets the most out of the juicy grapes in this 40 hectare vineyard. Not to be missed.
Deep, dark ruby-red, with aromas of blackberry, sweet spices and fresh herbs. A full and vibrant palate with ripe black fruit flavors and spicy nuances.
Oder now while supplies last.