Palmeri Syrahs

Last Friday 7/26 I found two Syrahs from the same CA producer at the Silverdale, WA GO…both selling for $8.99.  When I first reported this on our “What’s New” tab, I mentioned that I found it somewhat odd that the alcohol levels were the same (14.8%) and the back labels were identical i.e. “created from fruit grown above 1000 ft. elevation” and “hand-selected from just 13 acres”.  Interesting…two identical vineyards…one in Napa and the other in the Alexander Valley (Sonoma).  I’m thinking that the back labels were screwed up and that’s how these wines found their way to GO.  Anyway…I opened them both and here’s what my wife and I found:

IMG_10862006 Palmeri Alexander Valley Van Ness Vineyard Syrah (Bat Label): Pours inky dark purple and slightly opaque; perfumed nose of cassis, earth and black fruit (plum and blackberry).  In the mouth it’s medium weight and tannin; firm and nicely structured, showing more tannin in the finish.  Has the right acidity and shows flavors of blackberry, some dark cherry, light oak/cedar and a certain earthiness/terroir.  The more austere of the two Syrahs.  Not sure where Steve Heimhoff (Wine Enthusiast) got sweet and syrupy from this wine.  I sure didn’t find that.  But I believe he reviewed it a couple of years ago.  Could that have been the difference or is it just the difference in our palates?  or both?

2006 Palmeri Napa Valley Stagecoach Vineyard Syrah (Boar Label): Similar to it’s sister wine, but a bit more ruby colored and perhaps less inky and more clear.  Nose seems to show a bit more forward dark fruit.  This is a bigger Syrah, with the tannins coming on right up front—chewy from beginning to end.  A real mouthful with very nice blackberry fruit, espresso, and a little mintiness, as well as more noticeable oak in the fairly long finish.  I prefer this one of the two, but they’re both quite tasty.IMG_1089

Both get a thumbs up from me.

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35 thoughts on “Palmeri Syrahs

  1. EricfromRichmond

    I saw about a case and a half of this today at the Richmond store. Have 4 or 5 bottles and decided against buying more, but if you missed it…

    Reply
    1. lim13 Post author

      For our readers who may prefer one to the other, Eric…was it the Napa or Alexander Valley that you saw? Or both?

      Reply
  2. FresnoWineGuy

    I run the wine department here at the Fresno, CA store and I must say that both of these wines have been very big sellers in our store and they’re growing rapidly in popularity. Upon tasting, it’s apparent that the Stagecoach Napa bottle opens up much more harshly than the Alexander Valley. In my opinion both are very good buys, but surprisingly I liked the intensity of the Napa bottle. The citrus balance was a little off, but the wines overall complexity won me over. I currently have plenty of both of these wines in stock and they’re selling at $7.99 a bottle. A local wine store in town is selling the exact same bottle for $39.00 Now that’s a bargain my friends!

    Reply
    1. lim13 Post author

      Nice to hear from another GO “wine guy”, FWG…as we haven’t heard from one (that we know of) in a while. Welcome to the site…and thanks for your personal comments on the Palmeri Syrahs.

      Reply
    2. BargainWhine

      Hi FresnoWineGuy, welcome, and thanks for sharing your impressions of these wines. However, when you post here please continue to identify yourself as running the Fresno wine dept (or being the Fresno wine steward, or however you’d like to put it), and refrain from advertising for your store. At least, this is the compromise we worked out with a WA state wine steward who has posted here. If this doesn’t sound ok to you, please let us know what you think would be better. Thanks and cheers!

      Reply
    3. FresnoWineGuy

      Thanks for the warm welcome lim13 and I sincerely apologize BargainWhine I wasn’t trying to advertise, I was simply comparing price points. Your conditions sound reasonable, thank you.

      Reply
  3. RW

    Had a bottle of the Alexander Valley. It opened up after 30 – 60 min, and held up well for two days. Well balanced. I really liked it. IMHO, it’s one of the few good GO wines I have got recently.

    Reply
    1. lim13 Post author

      Good to hear from you, RW. While I preferred the Napa version, the AV wine was mighty tasty too. And they both seemed to show more of their “stuff” on the second and third days. I’d also concur (as would many of our readers) that we DO indeed seem to have to wade through a lot of mediocre to just plain swill wines to find the good ones anymore. And often at higher prices than in the past.

      Reply
      1. GOWineLover

        Agreed on the Napa opening up more. Even on the third day, it was shining brightly. Nice find even if prices are creeping upward.

        Reply
      2. Patrick

        I now finally have had both Palmeri Syrahs and like them both, they are not easy to find in the San Jose area, perhaps too many stores profiled for the area, or managers fear being stuck with $7.99 to $9.99 wines that don’t sell and they can’t lower the price. The Palmeri’s are like the Jarratts, and Jake Ryans, great bargains, that’s why we are here and when we buy a bunch of these bargains we get over stocked on great reds. I looked into Palmeri and found that owner Kerry Damskey is a hugely successful winery consultant and is even listed as heading up the wine making team at Roblar Winery, however everything I have tasted from Roblar at GO I considered undrinkable, only whites and so maybe they are like Heitz Cellars,superb reds and well, whites who knows? If I’m anywhere near Roblar I’m going to Justin and Gainey.

        Reply
        1. RedWineOnly

          Hi Patrick,
          Can you tell me which SJ GO has the Palmeri Syrahs? I’d like to get couple bottles to drink over this weekend. Thanks!

          Reply
        2. lim13 Post author

          Thanks for the info on Damskey, Patrick…and I’m glad you liked those Palmeris. I’ve been a member of the Gainey Wine Club for many years now and just love their wines…in fact my wife and I just finished my last bottle of their 2006 Limited Selection Sauv Blanc with dinner tonight. Has held up beautifully and was quite delicious.

          Reply
  4. Seedboy

    The Berkeley store now has some of the Napa syrah. Also, Tenuta Ponte Aglianico NV, $2.99. This wine is nicely balanced for a meal but not as a sipper. There is also a current vintage sancerre for $15.99, been there a few days and not moving.

    Reply
    1. lim13 Post author

      Seems only right you should get some of the Napa Palmeri in it’s “birth land”. Check back in if you try one, SB. Is it going for $8.99 down there too? or less?

      Reply
  5. Seedboy

    I’ve consumed a bottle of the Alexander Valley, over two nights. It seems bone dry to me but it does have some sweet fruity flavors. This wine is tasty and pretty easy to drink. On the second day it was actually better, as the acidity became more apparent and a nice earthiness appeared in the middle of the tongue. I might buy one or two of these to put down for a while. I’ve got so much GO syrah though: Cliff Creek, that IO blend from a couple of years ago, Grand Archer, and what was that one called, the label says do not freeze?

    Reply
    1. lim13 Post author

      I’m really glad to hear you gave it a shot, SB…and even happier to hear that you enjoyed it. I’d agree that it seems better the next day…or two. I decided not to buy more, but I did buy two more of the Palmeri Napa Syrahs today…and there’s probably still time to go back next week for more of the AV. I don’t recall the Do Not Freeze wine, but it gave me a few chuckles to read that.

      Reply
      1. seedboy

        The Do Not Freeze was maybe Oakland only. The growers also raise lambs, and the label was a joke on their other business. Healdsburg area fruit, good balance, tasty.

        Reply
  6. seedboy

    His review is a year and a half old, the fruit might have become more muted. This wine won double gold at the 2012 San Francisco Int’l Wine Competition. Berkeley still has some of it, but I’ve still not seen a bottle of the Stagecoach anywhere.

    Reply
    1. lim13 Post author

      Funny…my wife and I had a similar conversation about when Heimhoff did his review. I think most of us would agree that a lot can happen in the bottle over time. I saw on the web site where the wine garnered some awards. Give it a little time and maybe the Stagecoach will pull into the Bay Area.

      Reply
      1. GOWineLover

        None of you heard it from me but both Pleasant Hill and Concord have plenty of Stagecoach. I bought one bottle of that and it is as described – big, bold and possibly better in a day or two. Great wine even at $7.99. Can’t wait to see what the Cab is like if it shows up.

        It’s one of the few wines over $6.99 I have ever purchased from GO and it delivers.

        Reply
          1. GOWineLover

            An hour of air after pouring through a Vinturi has helped. At 14.8%, I expect some of the harshness to soften tomorrow. One of the better wines I’ve had from GO and will likely go from good to great in the coming days, though not even landing in my top 5 for best GO deals ever. If you’re a Syrah fan and like big wines, this pickup (at least the Stagecoach) should be a sure thing.

            Had with kalbi, korean rice and bok choy.

            Reply
            1. BargainWhine

              Hi GOWineLover. Did the wine go with Korean marinade on the Kalbi? That marinade / sauce is usually pretty sweet.

            2. lim13 Post author

              I was thinking the exact same thing that BargainWhine inquired about. Somehow I’m having a tough time imagining the better qualities of the Napa Syrah accompanying Kalbi marinade. But then maybe the soy saltiness softens the tannins more than the sweetness interferes.

            3. GOWineLover

              Really only drank it while cooking and just a bit with the meal since it’s far from an optimal pairing as questioned! Just couldn’t wait to get it open. Having filets tonight and will be comparing it with the Niner that has also been open a full day (and for my palate was the inferior last night by a fair margin). Looking forward to trying the Palmeri Cab.

  7. lim13 Post author

    I know what you mean, Seedboy…it’s all so subjective. While both of these wines have decent fruit, I wouldn’t really call them fruity or fruit bombs. But then we’re back to subjectivity again, eh? : ~)

    Reply
  8. Seedboy

    I /have only seen the Alexander Valley wine here in Berkeley/Pinole/Richmond/San Pablo. I’m learning that some descriptors such as ‘sweet” mean different things, I think some folks use that for “forwardly fruity” and the fruit is not in balance.

    Reply

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