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This Syrah, which is enhanced by 15% Petit Verdot, is one of the better wines from the region on the market for less than $25. Awesome aromas of pepper, blackberry and charred beef are intense and deep, while the palate is lifted by bountiful acidity and flavors of boysenberry, white, black and green peppercorns, incense and sagebrush.
A fifth generation Californian originally from San Jose, Matt Kettmann covers California’s Central Coast and South Coast for the magazine. He is also the senior editor of The Santa Barbara Independent, where he’s worked since 1999, has written for the New York Times, Time Magazine, Wine Spectator, and Smithsonian, and co-founded New Noise Santa Barbara, a music festival.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
Products deemed Unacceptable (receiving a rating below 80 points) are not reviewed.expand for more
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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Wine Enthusiast Magazine tastes, rates and reviews wines, spirits and beers for publication in our Buying Guide, both in print and online. If you are interested in submitting samples for review and publication, please click here.