This old thread started as a joke but there are some nice producers mentioned after you sort through the bickering about technical details.
What price points are you considering? Are you new to the hobby?
A few of my favorites from different price points, that are readily available:
- Any entry level Rhone varietal from Justin.
- Any entry level Rhone varietal from Tablas Creek.
- Anything from McPrice Myers.
- Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel
- Justin Savant
- Alban Patrina (mailing list, but you can occasionally find it at retail.)
* There's such a wide range of stuff in this category. If you are looking at some of the more acclaimed producers like Alban, Saxum, Sine Qua Non, they can get pricey. My experience with these however, is limited to Alban, and well worth the coin if that's your cup of tea. Booker & Denner are getting a lot of good press lately too.
Anyways, I hope this helps.
Pax is no longer an active label (there was a split after the 2007 vintage was bottled, and the winemaker now does Windgap, while much of the vineyards are now bottled under Donelan). But you can still pick up Pax wines here and there. I have been very impressed. Honestly, I have had very little experience with either Wind Gap or Donelan, and while both seem promising, their wines have not yet achieve the 6-year old threshold I like to taste my California syrahs.
There are some outstanding ones coming out of Walla Walla. Rasa'a are outstanding, as are those of Gramercy.
Just one more sip.
I am currently enjoying 2008 Carina Cellars Clairvoyant which is a Syrah-Viognier blend.
Big Tex - what is Cali Rhone style?
Is it Cali wine in the style of Rhone? Rhone like Cote Rotie or say, Ventoux? Or Cali wines made from Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre/Carignan, etc.?
There's a lot of variety in the way wines are made in the Rhone.
"The best part is how he said the ENGLISH language. Fine irony. Use American next time."
Dont make it hard for the poor person he meant " Cali wines made from Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre/Carignan, etc.?
The best "Rhone Style" CA wine I'm familiar with is the Qupe Roussanne Bien Nacido Hillside Vineyard. While clearly CA, it possesses the same qualities that can make young white Rhones from Roussanne so wonderful.
Apart from that, Ojai makes classy Syrahs that at least pay homage to their Rhone heritage and that are clearly varietally expressive.
"What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch?" -- W.C. Fields
Gents, thanks for taking it easy on a new member and all of the quick responses. Yes, for Cali Rhones, it was the latter...Syrahs, Grenache, etc.
I appreciate the input and look forward to engaging with this forum.
Along with syrah's from Ojai I'd add the syrah's from Arcadian. Not cheap ($35-50) but worth the price and they age well.
"Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear. "
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787
Terry Hoage Vineyard Paso Robles
Say No to Paso.
In all seriousness, why not just buy Rhones instead of Cali Rhone-styles? Prices in the Rhone are not stratospheric (yet) like Bordeaux or Burgundy unless you're buying JL Chave or Rayas. Beaucastel, Janasse, Pegau, Telegraphe, Usseglio (minus the special cuvees) can all be purchased for under $100/bottle which is comparable to the top CA producers.
Northern Rhone can be hard to find and expensive but Thierry, Jaboulet, Guigal, Clape, Rostaing all make lots of bottlings in the same price range.
I'm in love with Copain's work with Syrah. Their Les Voisins and Tous Ensembles are great values in the up to $40 range. After that you have their Single Vineyard designates from some amazing high elevation vineyards up in the Yorkville Highlands that just make me giddy thinking about them.
Halcon Vineyards (one of Copain's sources, actually) - also has their own label and they make an AMAZING Mourvedre that is just flat out inspirational. They also do a GSM blend that I'm looking forward to trying - as well as sourcing some Marsanne and Roussane from Alder Springs Vineyard in Northern Mendocino County for a Rhone-ish White.
Peay Vineyards is also another fantastic producer of Syrah that can be had at a very reasonable price (I believe in the mid 30's to mid 40s?).
I can't end this post without mentioning Lagier Meredith. Fantastic wine that ages very well. Same with Hyde de Villaine out of Carneros.
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