Concannon Stampmaker’s Syrah 2004

Concannon Limited Release WinesPrice: $12
Maker: Concannon Vineyard, Livermore & San Luis Obispo, California
Varietal: Merlot
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, natural cork
Alcohol: 13.5%
Our Rating: 9 out of 10

Concannon Stampmaker’s Syrah 2004 makes a great first impression – the bottle has a raised image of the vineyard gates, the label is foil imprinted and is further graced by an embossed grapevine. Fortunately, this wine isn’t all show. The nose is a powerful and exotic blend of licorice, clove, vanilla, and black pepper, with juicy berry notes in the background. On the palate, this Syrah is full-bodied and well balanced. The fruity blackberry and black cherry notes are well matched with toasty oak, and the finish is a long-lasting blend of spice and mild acidity. We liked this wine quite a lot.

So far, we haven’t gone wrong with a choice from Concannon – we also enjoyed their slightly less expensive Concannon Central Coast Merlot 2003 – although not a typical merlot, that was an interesting and flavorful wine. This wine is part of their “Limited Release” series, which features wines bottled in somewhat smaller quantities. We note that the 2003 vintage of Concannon Stampmaker’s Syrah took a “Best in Class” award at the California State Fair. We’re looking forward to trying other wines from this maker.

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