Temecula has officially been a designated viticultural area since 1984. For most of those years Thornton Winery has been producing wine there. In addition to the 20 acres Thornton Winery itself sits on they also source some grapes from other specific parcels throughout California. The second wine from Thornton I'm looking at is a Syrah. The Thornton Winery Temecula Valley Syrah has a suggested retail price of $24. As with the Merlot, the alcohol level is under 14%, modest for California.
This Syrah opens with a big nose of bright berry fruit. Rhubarb, black cherry, assorted dark berry fruits and black pepper emerge immediately upon tasting this wine and carry well through the mid-palate. Well integrated oak presents itself in the form of cedar and vanilla notes throughout the palate of the wine. The finish features mocha, earth, white pepper, nutmeg and a light chicory note. The Thornton Syrah will be an excellent match for grilled meats.
What stood out to me about this wine is that it features upfront fruit that references an Australian Shiraz but also maintains the balance, earthiness and finesse of some fine Rhone offerings.
While this release is drinking tremendously well now, it's likely to at least hold where it is for several years. This is an excellent Syrah that offers good value in its price category.
Up Next: An Amador County Zinfandel from Thornton Winery.
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