Red Lava Vineyards 2008 Syrah

Red Hills Lake County AVA, CA, 15.5% ABV
$7 at the Richmond, CA, store on 22 Aug

RedLava_2008_SyrahA number of Red Lava wines showed up together at the Richmond store: 2008 Syrah, 2009 Syrah, 2011 Syrah, and 2011 Tempranillo.  I got the 08 and 09 Syrahs, distrusting the weaker year of 2011.  I think this wine is very good in a ripe, fruity, CA way.

After about an hour of air, the wine shows ripe, tangy dark cherry and blueberry, cranberry sauce, black-earthy roasted or grilled character, with zingy acid on the finish, and a slight touch dark evergreen.  The body is not very heavy, letting a bit of alcoholic hotness show through, but the wine is well-flavored,  There is a little bit of simple or candied fruitiness that I dislike, but overall I thought it was outweighed by the more serious Syrah character.  Thumbs Up.

The second half, stoppered in a 375ml bottle with very little air, was different but at least as good.  It still needed a bit of air to show very ripe, rich, earthy fruit of dark purple cherry, purple grape, blueberry / blackberry, perhaps still some of the cranberry sauce, with a roasted / grilled character, and slightly abrasive tannin / acid on the finish.  Overall, this is very good wine for the money.


5 thoughts on “Red Lava Vineyards 2008 Syrah

  1. Dean Donaldson

    Tried them all,

    The 2011 Syrah is by far the most bold, flavorful, and complex. Bought 2 cases…
    The 2009 Syrah was the least favorite of the bunch, the Petite Sirah, and Tempranillo were also very good…

  2. BargainWhine Post author

    Last night, I helped consume the 2009 Syrah, 14.8% ABV, same price. It’s really good! Give it 2 or even 3 hours in a decanter, and it shows similar fruit flavors to the 2008, no roasted / grilled flavors, smooth and elegant, entertainingly but not extremely complex. A very nice wine for the price.

  3. JoelA

    2013 Red Lava Petite sirah; bought at Oakland for $ 7.99; 12.7% alc.

    I was hoping for something really interesting from this relatively low-alcohol wine, which folks at Oakland said they liked. Not me. The wine has a nice aroma and good acid but lots of tannin that obscure the flavors.

    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Seedboy. The oak did not strike me as out of balance, so either (1) maybe what didn’t work with the 2011 Tempranillo was okay with the 2008 Syrah or (2) the oak in the Syrah was also sort of clumsy but it didn’t bother me too much.


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