2011 Boccali Vineyards Topa Topa Syrah $5.99

Produced & Bottled by: Boccali Vineyards
ABV 14%
Purchased: Lebanon OR GO 6-20-2015

FullSizeRenderThere has been a lot of talk about this wine, buried in other parts of the blog:
“A new wine I’ve seen in some of the stores is the Boccali Vineyards Ojai (Ventura County) Syrah 2011 for $4.99. This wine is medium bodied and needs a half hour of air but then becomes a really elegant Syrah, nice pepper and black fruit and meat flavors. My favorite GO syrah since the Russian Hill 2001 Windsor Oaks.” ~ Seedboy

“That Boccali Vineyards Syrah turned up at the Lake City Seattle GO this week, and I concur it’s a really nice California Syrah. Sounds like a family run winery that started out supplying wine to their Italian restaurant, according to the website. Hope the wine’s appearance here isn’t a bad omen for them, because they clearly know what they’re doing, even though they’re a little tiny operation.” ~ Flitcraft

“I picked up several bottles of the Boccali Syrah from Ojai earlier based on SB’s glowing review and enjoyed them.

Although a good value for the money, they are IMHO a discernible step below the quality and complexity of the Russian Hill Windsor Oak/Top Block Syrahs, which ran a couple of bucks more…” ~EHL

Color: Magenta
Fragrance: Combination of tart fruit and plum
Body: lighter than the warmer climate AU Shiraz I’m used to but perfect for its taste profile.
Taste: A really nice balance here. I was surprised at the listed 14% alcohol.  In my experience, colder vintages tend to be lower alcohol. This doesn’t taste heavy with alcohol heat though, and since the percentage can vary from the label up to 2%, I would put it tasting more at 12.5-13%. Semi-tart (reminded me of gooseberry a bit..tangy fruit with a bit of grass) fruit, mild plum notes, pepper and a bit of earth. I didn’t get any of the meat flavors that SB mentioned but I agree with the above assessments; this is a nice cold vintage Syrah.

For those of you who enjoy the heavier bodied, fruit, spice, cocoa & leather style AU Shiraz (which I do very much also enjoy), this is not your wine. In comparison, this is a much lighter, herbal, softer approach, style of Syrah. It would have been a perfect summer purchase (and a repeat buy for me) if I could have even slightly detected the savory flavors mentioned above.


4 thoughts on “2011 Boccali Vineyards Topa Topa Syrah $5.99

  1. EHL

    As Flitcraft noted, it’s been up here in the Seattle area for a while and I saw it a few days ago for $6, with the normal PNW $urcharge assessed.

    Nice, detailed review as usual, PW…on a dependably impressive Red wine for the money, showing that even in the suburb foothills of LA they can produce some pretty fine vino…


    1. permiesworld Post author

      Hey EHL,
      Hope you are finding some nice wines to enjoy while you are in my favorite city!

      And yes, the origin really did surprise me on this one. I never expected to like it much…I expected it to be uber heavy/jammy and lacking in nuance. I hadn’t read any of the comments, so I had no idea when I bought it…but we were wanting an everyday Syrah to match dinner two nights ago…so it was worth checking out.

    1. permiesworld Post author

      We did. We often seem to pay at least a dollar more.
      It opened up nicely on day two. The plum was a bit more noticeable but the tangy fruit was still there. As it opened, the grassy quality was replaced by a bit more earthiness, to me anyway. I think that if you like Syrah, it’s a great choice (for local options) for a summer red. Not very sweet, not very heavy. A nice wine in the heat (we are expecting 100F several times over the next week…)


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