Ojai Syrah, Santa Barbara
Staff Pick

Ojai Syrah, Santa Barbara - 2019

Item # 11196 750mL
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Grape Variety
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Tasting Notes

The Syrah grape is one of the principal grapes at the Ojai winery. The grapes were picked and pressed into open-top tanks with 20% whole cluster fruit. The wine was aged for a year and a half in neutral French oak barrels.

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Staff Pick Notes

Ojai pride themselves on “creating California wines with a European sense of finesse” like this bold yet incredibly approachable Syrah which gets a dollop of Grenache from the John Sebastiano vineyard where Ojai has been sourcing fruit since 2010. There, vines grow on the climatic edge, and fruit ripens very late, producing fresh and lively wines that flaunt exotic aromas and powdery-fine tannins. Ojai “find that a bit of Grenache can really enhance the power of the Syrah, while bringing another gear of drive to the aroma and mid-palate volume”. Smoke, fried sage, cocoa, olive tapenade and bacon sandwich lead us to glorious fruit and a fine-tuned acidity that keeps all those savory components in harmony. I’m stocking up on this one because at this price it’s a steal and I can’t wait to see what it does with a couple years in the cellar.

- SG

Astor's Glossary of Terms


The Grenache grape (a.k.a. Grenache Noir) produces relatively pale, fruity red wines that often stop just short of sweetness. Grenache is familiar to most wine drinkers as an ingredient in the blends of the Rhône and Languedoc-Roussillon, where it can add charm to varieties that are a little rougher around the edges. The distinguished Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas appellations are both...

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California makes more wine than any other state in the United States. Not only does the state grow a variety of noble grape varieties like Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, there are also plantings of lesser-known varieties such as Nebbiolo, Roussanne and Mourvèdre to name just a few.


We'd like to clear this up once and for all: the Shiraz grape is genetically identical to Syrah. Australian winemakers put "Shiraz" on the map (and, many would argue, vice versa), and the term is now used throughout much of the New World. Let it never be said, however, that Shiraz and Syrah are the same thing: the region in which the grape is grown determines much about the flavor of the wine it...

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