2004 Syrah – Napa Valley
Syrah • Estate Vineyard
California: Napa Valley
What we say
If you are visiting us for the first time, Welcome! The Wine Spies feature one exceptional wine each day – and we only bring you wines that we ourselves seek out and love. Always, the wines are great. Sometimes even better than that, as is the case with today’s wine from Burgess Vineyard.
SUPERIOR WINE/VALUE ALERT!: The price on today’s Syrah from Burgess Cellars shocked us. For its relatively low price, the wine great delivers a big-dollar Syrah experience.
ALLOCATION ALERT!: The last time we ran a Burgess wine, it was our fastest-selling wine ever. Be sure to take advantage of this offer – before we run out!
SAVINGS ALERT!: Enjoy FREE Ground Shipping with your purchase of 6 or more bottles when you use coupon code: NAPASPY at checkout
Mission Codename: The Eastern Slopes
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: React to the flood of reports that Burgess Vineyard has a standout Napa Valley Syrah. If valid, secure an ample supply for our Operatives
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Burgess Vineyard
Wine Subject: 2004 Syrah
Winemaker: Bill Sorenson
Backgrounder: Last month we featured another superb wine from Burgess. It turned out to be our fastest selling wine ever. Taste any Burgess wine and you’ll see why. Their secret? The winery says that 30 years of winemaking experience, on their own land, tending their own fruit, has allowed them ample time to perfect their wines. Drink any of their wines and you will enjoy this perfection for yourself. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes below, followed by a retelling of his original mission report, in which he first becomes acquainted with Burgess.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep garnet to burgundy great clarity through its deep, dark heart. The wine also has a pronounced spring to its surface and it leaves behind slow-moving legs that crawl slowly down the glass
Smell – Beautifully aromatic with a rick blueberry, blackberry, black currant, dusky earth, acacia and a hint of real gardenia and smoky meats
Feel – Supple and wet and big, mouth-coating with great soft to medium all-over-mouth tannins
Taste – Delicious layers of flavors, including dark mixed berry, black cherry, black fig and dark plum with subtle dusted bakers chocolate
Finish – Hugely Juicy and rich, mouth-coating, delicious and supple, with soft tannins and flavors that go on and on forever
Conclusion – Is this the perfect Syrah? We Wine Spies certainly love it! What you get in this wine is a brilliant balance of dusky, earthen, old-world aromatics and flavors, with bright and juicy new-world Napa Valley fruit. This is a deeply flavorful, delicious and richly layered wine that drinks beautifully on its own, but also pairs perfectly with most any foods.
What follows is Agent Red’s somewhat embarrassing first mission to Burgess:
In which Agent Red has enjoyed a few glasses of today’s 2004 Burgess wine – and finds himself waxing poetic. Or does he?
An Ode to Burgess and their fanTAStic 2004
Your wines appeal
they make us feel
to the Mountain Howell
The true soul of your wine shines
in the tall pours that I desire
Your ’04 wines are beyond compare
_In which Agent Cuvee, sensing that Agent Red is not the Pablo Neruda of wine, steps in and stops Agent Red from writing any more “poetry”.
Okay, Red, put down the pen and go get some rest. I got this one.
Greeting Dear Operatives. Agent Red had to, umm, leave. I’m taking over this briefing.
All of us here at Wine Spies Central Command agree: Bill Sorenson is a winemaker of remarkable talent. All of his wines shine with a uniqueness and distinctiveness and all of his wines taste great. The fantastic Howelll Mountain fruit grown on the Burgess estate doesn’t hurt, either.
We recently had the great fortune to taste through all of his current release red wines and it was his Cab and Syrah that both that really stood out as our favorites. With bright fruit, a tender mouth feel and a rich finish, these wines are not massive monsters that bully your senses. These are refined wines that are a real pleasure to spend quality time with.
During our tasting, we found ourselves discussing the wines at length. It was really interesting to pull apart and describe in detail all of the aromas and flavors that the wines convey. With their bright acidity, we suspect that the wines would pair nicely with most anything. We were hoping to enjoy it with the meal we had planned for later that evening, but Agent Red seemed to have enjoyed most of the remaining bottles, leaving none for our dinner. Alas. At least it led to some “poetry” that we can tease him about – once he returns from his latest mission!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the lush Howell Mountain, in Napa, can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the winery says
Burgess Cellars, Member, Napa Valley Vintners
About This Wine:
The brilliant wine is a gorgeous black- ruby color showing off its hue around the edges. The pure, vibrant aromas are of blackberries, blueberries, allspice, and sweet flowers, including a hint of gardenia. A backbone of vibrant acidity gives this wine a refreshing palate, much like biting into a crisp, ripe plum. Chefs will love how this wine interacts with food because of its balance, complexity, and richness. This wine will complement various foods from grilled vegetables and meats to beet salads with goat cheese and toasted pine nuts to hummus and baba ganoush. As a first course wine, it handles higher acid foods with ease and leaves the palate cleansed.
2004 was a harvest where aggressive actions yielded us a wonderful harvest. There was a tremendous heat wave during harvest, and to bring the fruit in as it matured required bring on extra picking crews to work full days. If it were not for that, we could have had compromised our wine. We carefully fermented the wine, using a good amount of aeration during the primary fermentation to assist the yeast. 18 months of barrel aging took place in 50/50 American and French Oak, 25% of which were new. The low ratio of new oak is to preserve the beauty of the grape.
About The Winery:
Burgess Cellars, located on the slopes of Howell Mountain in Napa Valley, focuses on creating exceptional, hand-crafted estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Syrah.
Burgess traces its origins to an original winery on the property in the 1880’s. Since 1972, Napa Valley pioneer Tom Burgess and his family have followed the belief that it is vital to grow only those varietals ideally suited to a particular vineyard’s soil composition, sun and wind exposure, and overall micro-climate. The French refer to this as “terroir,” and it certainly explains the consistent aromas and flavors found in the hillside Burgess Cabernet Sauvignon.
Over the years three distinct estate vineyard sites have been cultivated and nurtured to create the very best handcrafted wines. The Burgess flagship wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, thrives on the western slopes of Howell Mountain near the winery; Merlot is ideally suited to the Triere Vineyard on the Napa Valley floor in the Oak Knoll AVA just south of Yountville; Syrah is perfectly matched to conditions in the estate vineyard site on the eastern slope of Howell Mountain.
Burgess is somewhat unique in the Napa Valley today, in that it is truly a family-owned winery which has employed the same gifted winemaker, Bill Sorenson, since the winery’s re-birth in 1972.
Region: Napa Valley, California
Grape Variety: 94% Syrah, 6% Mourvedre
Vineyard location: Estate Vineyard on Eastern side of Howell Mountain above Pope Valley
Fermentation: 100% malolactic;
Bottle size: 750ml