85pointsMariah 1999 Syrah (Mendocino Ridge)

This Brown-Forman-owned brand succeeded with Zinfandel and now is trying its hand at Syrah, with mixed results. This release, while well-made, lacks stuffing, although the acid and tannin structure is very good. There are some earthy-berry flavors but the wine needs more oomph. More tinkering is called for, probably in the vineyards. —S.H.

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