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2013 Alban Vineyards Patrina SyrahSyrah / Shiraz from United States


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"Once upon a time, Alban Vineyards intermittently produced a 'Central Coast Syrah'. This wine was never predictable in either the years it might be made, nor in its quantity. H...

  • 91-93 Jeb Dunnuck - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
  • 90-92 Josh Raynolds - Vinous Media
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The only 2013 I was able to taste from this estate, the 2013 Syrah Patrina offers full-bodied richness and depth, lots of dark fruits, cassis, licorice and graphite, perfect ripeness and a polished, elegant personality. Shining for its purity, it's ready to go and will shine on release.

I had a great visit with John Alban, whose estate is located at the southern end of the Edna Valley and in one of the coolest AVAs in California. Despite this, he makes some of the most concentrated, rich and age-worthy reds and whites from the entire state. Looking at the recent vintages, John commented that while 2014 started incredibly early, there wasn't that much heat in June and July, and September was cool as well. All of this resulted in harvest dates that were not far from normal. Seymour's Vineyard came in between October 7th and 8th, which is on par with 2004. Looking at 2013, John commented that the magic of this vintage was the even heat accumulation and no heat spikes, which resulted in perfect phenolic ripeness and no edge to the tannin. While 2013 had a later bud break than 2014, it was still earlier than 2012, and harvest occurred during the second half of October. I was only able to taste one 2013 from John, so will report more on this vintage next year. While I wasn’t able to taste the 2012 single-vineyard Syrahs, if the Grenache (both the Grenache and Pandora were tasted) and Patrina release are any indicators, this looks to be a sensational vintage here and a return to the voluptuous and decadent style that’s the hallmark of the estate. As for the 2011s, this was the coolest vintage on record in California and the smallest crop ever for Alban. The wines are distinctly different from past vintages, and dare I say, have plenty of northern Rhone-like character. Despite the freakishly cold weather, these are no lightweight wines and they have shocking concentration in the vintage. These will need short-term cellaring but I doubt they'll be as long-lived as the larger framed vintages. Nevertheless, they're beautiful, singular wines. As I said last year, it remains a mystery to me why no one else in the Edna Valley tries to make wines of the quality that is so often achieved here.

90-92 Josh Raynolds - Vinous Media

"Bright purple. Dark berry preserves, spicecake and smoky minerals on the highly perfumed nose. Coats the palate with juicy black and blue fruit and floral pastille flavors, with subtle spice and mineral nuances adding lift and bite. Fleshy and deep but lithe as well. Finishes on a gently tannic note, with very good focus and length."

Product Description:

"Once upon a time, Alban Vineyards intermittently produced a 'Central Coast Syrah'. This wine was never predictable in either the years it might be made, nor in its quantity. However, whenever and whatever the amount offered, it was always tremendously popular with our customers. With each sporadic release it became undeniable that lots of people really wanted this wine. Likewise, it became painfully clear that without control of the vineyards from which such a wine would come, nothing about it would ever be reliable. In 2005 we decided to discontinue purchasing grapes and no longer make ‘Central Coast Syrah’. Instead we would embark upon developing our own vineyards for something that could take its place- only better. We intentionally kept the inaugural 2008 vintage a ‘secret’- no hoopla or sampling, just a subdued offering to our wonderful distributors. It would be an understatement to say the wine was well received. By the time the 2009 was ready, there would be no applying the words secret or subdued.

Patrin is a gypsy word for leaf and grass blades. By mounding up patrin in specific configurations called Patrina, Gypsies mark secret trails that kinsmen can follow to special gathering places. Patrina guide these nomads to the site of what starts out as a simple get together underscored with wine and song. These bohemian celebrations of nothing in particular inevitably escalate with great abandon into wildly hedonistic carousing.

Our vineyards are a patchwork of isolated soil types that you may recognize as Reva, Lorraine, Seymour's and Pandora. Between and in route to these well healed sites are vineyards that are not so obviously distinct. We have blended these disparate and 'disenfranchised' blocks into a single wine we call Patrina. Like the Gypsy trails from which Patrina derives its name, we hope these bottles lead you to some great merriment, or more.

2013 marks the sixth vintage of this Alban offering; it was also a superlative vintage for us and much of California. Patrina '13 is a true to form Alban Syrah: dark, dense, soft, concentrated and long. Blue and Black fruits with graphite and licorice notes and the ultra-sweet soft tannins that are the hallmark of the 2013 vintage. 2500 cases aged 27 months in 60% new French oak, bottled unfined and unfiltered using gravity." - Importer

Product Detail

Item # 95140
Country United States
Region California
Sub-Region Santa Barbara

91-93 - Jeb Dunnuck - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

90-92 - Josh Raynolds - Vinous Media

Vintage 2013
Color Red
ABV 13.5%
Varietal(s) Syrah / Shiraz
Size 750 mL
Closure Cork
Taste currant, blueberry, blackberry and strawberry
Nose spice box, cedar and dark fruit