Sanguis 2009 Six White Horses Syrah (California)
97 Points

Winemaker Matthias Pippig brings Syrah to a whole new level with this stunningly dramatic bottling. Don't worry about the California appellation, a peculiarity of the winery's ownership. It's made entirely from Santa Barbara grapes, namely from Watch Hill in Los Alamos and Bien Nacido in Santa Maria Valley. The intensity of fruit defies description. It suggests enormous blackberry and creamy-sweet chocolate, larded with bacon and sprinkled with black pepper—and that doesn't even begin to describe the toasty sweetness of the 100% new oak barrels. This is the best California Syrah of the vintage, and one of the greatest Syrahs the state has ever produced. This opulence comes at a cost, however: The alcohol is high.

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  • Alcohol
    15.6%
  • Bottle Size
    750 ml
  • Category
    Red
  • Date Published
    2/1/2013
  • User Avg Rating
    Not rated yet [Add Your Review]
2013
About the Wine Enthusiast Buying Guide

Tasting Methodology and Goals

All tastings reported in the Buying Guide are performed blind. Typically, products are tasted in peer-group flights of from 5–8 samples. Reviewers may know general information about a flight to provide context—vintage, variety or appellation—but never the producer or retail price of any given selection. When possible, products considered flawed or uncustomary are retasted.

About the Scores

Ratings reflect what our editors felt about a particular product. Beyond the rating, we encourage you to read the accompanying tasting note to learn about a product’s special characteristics.

    • 98–100
    • Classic
    • The pinnacle of quality.
    • 94–97
    • Superb
    • A great achievement.
    • 90–93
    • Excellent
    • Highly recommended.
    • 87–89
    • Very Good
    • Often good value; well recommended.
    • 83–86
    • Good
    • Suitable for everyday consumption; often good value.
    • 80–82
    • Acceptable
    • Can be employed in casual, less-critical circumstances.

Products deemed Unacceptable (receiving a rating below 80 points) are not reviewed.

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Special Designations

Editors' Choice wines are those that offer excellent quality at a price above our Best Buy range, or a wine at any price with unique qualities that merit special attention.

Cellar Selections are wines deemed highly collectible and/or requiring time in a temperature-controlled wine cellar to reach their maximum potential. A Cellar Selection designation does not mean that a wine must be stored to be enjoyed, but that cellaring will probably result in a more enjoyable bottle. In general, an optimum time for cellaring will be indicated.

Best Buys are wines that offer a high level of quality in relation to price. There are no specific guidelines or formulae for determining Best Buys, but they are generally priced at $15 or less.

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