Cellar Management

Pick My Next Bottle – 2013’s from Cayuse, Saxum and No Girls

The February installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on the 2013 vintage from some of the very best domestic producers of Syrah and Grenache. 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 the following week.

Any conversation about the best domestic Syrah and Grenache will include producers like Cayuse, Saxum and No Girls. All of the wines below should be in a really good spot at 9 years of age. With Cayuse and No Girls you have to buy the wine in a 3 pack case so if you haven’t checked in on this vintage what are you waiting for?

The Contenders

  • 2013 Cayuse Grenache God Only Knows – Moderately saturated bright red. The sexy high-toned scents of cherry liqueur, rose petal, flint, olive tapenade, hot rocks and spices reminded me a bit of a warm-year Châteauneuf du Pape, which is a neat trick considering that the latter wine would probably be carrying two degrees more of alcohol. Boasts terrific inner-mouth lift and purity to its broad, seamless flavors of cherry, raspberry, peony, jasmine, orange peel, olive tapenade and spices complicated by smoky, salty minerality. The seriously saline finish shows fine-grained, tongue-dusting tannins and terrific subtle length. One of the most intriguing Grenache bottlings I’ve tasted to date from the West Coast and likely to merit an even higher score with a few years of bottle aging. No easy sweetness here, but it already offers considerable sex appeal. 93 points from Vinous.
  • 2013 Saxum James Berry Vineyard – An explosively perfumed bouquet evokes an array of ripe red and blue fruits, candied flowers and exotic spices, backed by a vibrant mineral overtone and a hint of smokiness. Utterly stains the palate with concentrated boysenberry, black raspberry, lavender pastille and fruitcake flavors that are enlivened by an intense jolt of juicy acidity. Shows an uncanny blend of richness and vivacity, with no rough edges and an endless, floral-driven finish framed by polished, harmonious tannins. I’d hold on to this wine for at least another seven or eight years but wouldn’t fault anyone for checking it out sooner than later for its youthful exuberance. 96 points from Vinous.
  • 2013 No Girls Syrah – Bright medium red. Highly perfumed scents of red raspberry, strawberry, flint, iodine and iron, plus a hint of orange peel that Christophe Baron attributes to magnesium in the soil. Not a particularly fleshy style but compellingly aromatic and precise, offering Côte-Rôtie-like notes of flint, black olive and violet and a lightly balsamic quality. Finishes with harmonious tannins and excellent length. This is already utterly captivating. 94 points from Vinous.

Which Wine from 2013 Should I Open?

  • 2013 Saxum James Berry Vineyard (58%, 11 Votes)
  • 2013 Cayuse Grenache God Only Knows (21%, 4 Votes)
  • 2013 No Girls Syrah (21%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 19

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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 March Installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

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