Cellar Management

Pick My Next Bottle – 2012 Syrah

The January Installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on Syrah from the 2012 vintage.  As I mentioned in the first installment, the purpose of this series is to provide insight into specific wines or producers you may currently have in your cellar. The winning bottle will be opened this Saturday and a Bottle Note will be published shortly thereafter.

2012 was an exceptional vintage in Washington and slightly better than average in Paso Robles. I have little worry though about the longevity of the Saxum Broken Stones and Carlisle James Berry.

The Contenders:

  • 2012 Saxum Broken Stones – The 2012 Syrah Broken Stones is a beauty. Made from 79% Syrah, 7% Petite Sirah and the rest Grenache, Mourvedre and Roussanne, it offers up full-bodied, decadent, yet incredibly pure notes of creme de cassis, smoked earth, pepper and violets. Seamless and silky, yet with a great mid-palate and notable tannin, it needs 2-3 years of bottle age and will have 15 years or more of overall longevity. 97 points from the Wine Advocate.
  • 2012 Cayuse Syrah Cailloux Vineyard – The only Syrah to be cofermented with Viognier, the 2012 Syrah Cailloux Vineyard (which sees mostly second-fill barrels) is one of the more serious, age-worthy examples of this cuvee I’ve tasted. Offering up lots of black raspberry, orange blossom, peach pit (these are no doubt due to the Viognier) and violet notes to go with almost searing minerality, this fabulous Syrah hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a layered, concentrated, tannic mouth feel and a great finish. 96 points from the Wine Advocate.
  • 2012 Carlisle Syrah James Berry Vineyard – Another rocking Syrah from this estate, the 2012 Syrah James Berry Vineyard, which was mostly destemmed (80%) and aged 16 months in 27% new French oak, offers a full-boded, decadent profile that carries gorgeous notes of creme de cassis, licorice, toasted spice, white chocolate and spring flowers. Voluptously textured, yet with a rock-solid mid-palate and sweet tannin, drink this beauty anytime over the coming decade. 94 points from the Wine Advocate.

Which 2012 Syrah Should I Open?

  • 2012 Cayuse Syrah Cailloux Vineyard (39%, 14 Votes)
  • 2012 Saxum Broken Stones (36%, 13 Votes)
  • 2012 Carlisle Syrah James Berry Vineyard (25%, 9 Votes)

Total Voters: 36

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Thanks for voting! I’d love to see a comment below on why you picked one bottle over another. Also, let me know if you have any suggestions for the February installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

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2 thoughts on “Pick My Next Bottle – 2012 Syrah

  1. Hi Tom – I picked the ’12 Saxum Broken Stones because I popped one in 2015 and was not overly impressed (even with a decant), but admittedly knew I was really early and was not too surprised. I have one left and would be interested in your thoughts. That said, the recent guidance from Justin Smith was “wait on the 2012 vintage to come around”…..so we might already have our answer. As such and in order: the Cayuse (because I have that too) followed by the Carlisle (because I’m always interested in anything from James Berry Vineyard). In short, there is no wrong decision and I’m absolutely NO HELP!

    1. Good to know on the suggestion from Justin. I have several bottles of the 12 Broken Stones so I can adjust accordingly if it still needs time in the cellar. Thanks!

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