Syrah from California: Emerging as a Premier Red Wine

California’s Syrah: The Rising Star of Reds. Patrick Iturra
Patrick Iturra, Asset/Investment Manager & Consulting. Dec 30, 2023


Historical Backdrop

While I’ve always had a penchant for the robust flavors of South Australian Syrah wines, there’s no denying Syrah has now unmistakably surfaced as a Californian treasure. Historically overshadowed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir, this grape has a storied past. In earlier times, it was primarily utilized to enrich the color of underwhelming Bordeaux and Burgundy vintages. Consequently, its intrinsic potential was frequently overshadowed. But now, California’s Syrahs are demanding and deserving of a spotlight of their own.

Quality Over Quantity

However, the turning point for Syrah’s allure lies in its quality. Justin Harmon of Argot Wines fervently believes in the vine’s potential. By producing fewer grapes, the vine can consequently focus more, thereby achieving exquisite ripeness, texture, and taste.

The ‘Holy Trinity’

In addition to this, Matt Dees places Syrah alongside Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, which he considers as grapes that genuinely reflect their terroir. Remarkably adaptable and versatile, Syrah seamlessly blends the northern Rhône’s inspiration with Californian creativity.

Paso Robles, CA.

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The 1990s Resurgence

During the 1990s, California, interestingly, saw a renewed interest in Syrah, primarily led by the Rhone Rangers. As a result, the finest Syrah wines in California began to echo the charm of the northern Rhône and simultaneously capture the essence of the local terrain.

IX Estate: A Californian Touch

On the other hand, in Napa Valley, Ann Colgin’s IX Estate Syrah stands out distinctly. By integrating Rhône-inspired foundations with a unique Californian flair, she’s consequently created something noteworthy.

Colgin Cellars: A Collector’s Dream

Moreover, Colgin Cellars, predominantly recognized for its Cabernet Sauvignon, ventured into Syrah production primarily out of a profound love for the Rhône wines. Their expression of Syrah, therefore, offers a medley of refreshing notes combined with a touch of local herbs.

Argot Wines: Patience Pays Off

Transitioning to Sonoma, Argot Wines especially emphasizes the importance of giving Syrah the time it deserves. Harmon compellingly draws a comparison of its maturation to a teenager’s evolution. As a result, Argot’s Syrahs promises an unparalleled experience, reflecting both their origin and meticulous care.

Jonata: A Global Perspective

Lastly and equally important, Matt Dees at Jonata, armed with a global perspective, magnificently showcases Syrah’s adaptability. His wines, infused with diverse international experiences, are thus a testament to the grape’s inherent versatility.

To sum it up, as the wine landscape in California steadily evolves, Syrah is unmistakably setting itself up as the varietal to watch, gracefully merging its past while steering towards a vibrant future.



“Business development enhances a company. My expertise boosts your revenue, growth, and profit through strategic partnerships and decisions.”

“I don’t sell houses. I grow your assets.” –Patrick Iturra, Asset/Investment Management.

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Patrick Iturra

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