2006 Wheaton Rise Syrah

Sonoma Valley, CA, 14.2% ABV
$5 at the Berkeley, CA store

This wine strikes me as still a little unpleasantly young, but if you’re okay with that, it’s quite nice wine for the money.

It’s a darker (black-purple), cooler-weather Syrah (understandable from Sonoma Valley, closer to the coast than Napa), with flavors of darker hibiscus, red plum fruit and purple plum skin, dark huckleberry (akin to blueberry), some smoky grilled meat, black olive / gravel, all pretty elegantly put together.  The “young” part comes in because there’s fairly strong tartness of some not-quite-ripe darker red fruit (red and black raspberry? plum?) and a rather tannic finish.   Although it will never be the most substantial wine, I expect it would reward a few more years of cellaring, when I think the acid and tannin would subside to expose the underlying fruit and complexity.

Like the 2002 North Point Cabernet, this was “cellared and bottled by UGWC, Napa, CA,” about which I still know nothing.  If anyone has any info, please contribute it here.  Thanks.

Update 7 Jan 2012: The glass I saved (at first opening with as little air as possible) is delicious: all the nice dark, ripe flavors and none of the tartness with reduced tannin.  So maybe if you drink it over a couple days or more you don’t need to cellar it.


8 thoughts on “2006 Wheaton Rise Syrah

  1. BargainWhine Post author

    I put at least one bottle of this into cool storage, and got one (it?) out recently. I had expected that the heavy, dark fruit would drop off and the wine would become nicely mellow and aged. However, this bottle was not all that pleasant. The acid I noted in the original review had come to dominate, and the rest of the wine had only degraded, becoming more simple. So… if you happen to have any of this left, probably you should still put it in a covered decanter for several hours, maybe for a day, and then still expect a wine on the more acid side and not so dark and rich as it had been.

  2. BargainWhine Post author

    I opened a bottle of this afternoon to consume this evening. I gave it four hours of air in a covered decanter before returning it to its bottle and taking it to the restaurant, where it still needed another 45 minutes or so of air. Then it was delicious: dark, rich and complex. Maybe it could have used five hours of decanting first.

    Incredibly to me, this is still available at the San Pablo, CA store.

      1. Robert Seeds

        And, has not been in any other store nearby in a while. San Pablo and the Vallejo stores are good places to go for GO wines that have sold out most other places.

  3. philinoakland

    Since I have a glass in front of me as I type (from a bottle I opened yesterday), I’m glad to read the update, as I concur wholeheartedly. This is quite delicious after 24 hours of breathing. An excellent table wine for $4.99.


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