Domaine des Chirats Rockpile Syrah, Sonoma 2019
Jeb Dunnuck96 points
Light (Light)Full (Full)
Low Tannin (Low Tannin)Tannic (Tannic)
Sweet (Sweet)Dry (Dry)
Low Acidity (Low Acidity)High Acidity (High Acidity)
- Fruit Cake
- Red Meat
Critic Scores & reviews
"The 2016 Syrah Domaine Des Chirats is a more backward wine that just exudes a sense minerality and a liqueur of rocks like character. Deep purple-colored with an awesome nose of bloody blue fruits, ground pepper, graphite, and violets, it builds incrementally on the palate with full-bodied richness, ultra-fine tannins, and an incredible sense of purity and precision. This isn't a blockbuster yet seems to have one foot in the Rhone Valley and one foot in Sonoma. It's going to benefit from 3-4 years of bottle age and cruise for 15+ years or more. Drink 2022-2037"
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The United States is now the fourth-largest producer of wine worldwide, with an abundance of grapevines planted in many wine regions, though Californian accounts for almost 90% of the country's output. In the late 1800s, the root louse phylloxera decimated many of the vineyards in Europe. It originated in the soils of North America where the vines are naturally resistant and was transferred to Europe on vine cuttings. In this case, North America was both the cause of the problem, and the solution, in the form of resistant rootstock for grafting.
It wasn’t until 1973 when Stag’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon and a Chardonnay from Château Montelana were judged to be the best in the world at the famous Paris Wine Show that the quality of the Californian wine industry was truly confirmed in the eyes of Europe.
Most all varieties are planted these days in the United States, from Syrah to Tempranillo, Pinot Noir to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Viognier and every blend in between. Key varieties are Californian Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Chardonnay. Cooler climates such as Oregon and Washington produce brilliant Pinot Noir. Even states previously considered too hot and arid for wine, like Arizona are being planted, with great results.
California is home not only to most of the wine production in the United States, but also to some of the country’s most renowned wines. Thanks to a climate that features warmth, sunshine, cooling influences from ocean breezes and fog, and varying altitudes, California producers can make a wide range of wine styles. Among California’s black grape varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon (the state’s most widely planted black variety), Zinfandel, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Syrah. For white wines, the most prominent are Chardonnay (the most planted grape variety of either colour) and Sauvignon Blanc. Regionally speaking, California’s main vineyards fall under five regions, three of which contain most of the county appellations and American Viticultural Areas (AVAs): North Coast, Central Coast, and Central Valley (which produces most of the state’s wine). North Coast encompasses the counties of Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino. Central Coast includes the Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey AVAs as well as San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, including the Paso Robles AVA and Santa Maria Valley AVA. Central Valley is home to the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys as well as the Lodi AVA.
Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for nearly every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa, the region only produces about half the amount of wine, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in both quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable wine-growing region by 2019.
Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of the Russian River and Sonoma Valleys, Carneros, and Fort Ross-Seaview. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.
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About the brand Vignobles Chirat
The history of the Chirat vineyard really began in 1984 with a young farmer’s desire to realize his dream : that of changing from the mixed farming done by his family for several generations, in order to plunge headlong into vine-growing on the vertiginous, terraced hillsides of Condrieu. It was no easy task. The apple, cherry and apricot trees which had taken root on the slopes, had to be pulled up so that the Viognier and the Syrah could take full advantage of this privileged setting.
It was 24 years later that father and son entered into partnership to create the EARL VIGNOBLES CHIRAT as it is known today.
Young agriculturist since July 2012, Aurelien seeks to uphold the quality of his father’s wines whilst bringing in the experience of his studies and the work he had done in other vineyards (New Zealand, the south of France and Burgundy).