Lost Canyon Winery
2005 Syrah Russian River Valley
Syrah •Alegria Vineyard
California: Sonoma County: Russian River 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 greater than great, as is the case with today’s wine from Lost Canyon.
New Feature Alert!: You are visiting our site on our first Sonoma County Tuesday. Be sure to visit us each Tuesday, when we will be featuring a fantastic Sonoma County wine each week.
Mission Codename: Sonoma, meet Oakland…
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Investigate the growing
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Lost Canyon Winery
Wine Subject: 2005 Alegria Syrah
Winemakers: Jack States and Randy Keyworth
Backgrounder: Greate wine can spring from the most unexpected places. Today we send Agent Red to investigate a winery in, of all places, Oakland, California. Read his mission report below for his report on today’s wine, a gem made from Sonoma County grapes – in the heart of Oakland.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark cherry jello, with a deep red-violet heart, clear edges and thin, widely-spaced legs
Smell – Giant blackberry and blueberry, with smoky leather, earthen spice and a hint of cherry
Feel – wet and smooth, then immediately more sharp as the medium tannins bite into the entire surface of the tongue and dry the inside of the lips
Taste – Layered with flavors of smoked blackberry, tart cherry, mineral, tart plum and hints of spiced red apple and black tea
Finish – Tannins dig in and lock in the sweetness and the smoked tartness of the fruit character of the wine, providing a lingering finish
Conclusion – If you are surprised to hear of a winery in Oakland, California, you’ll be even more surprised by this wine. This delicious example from Lost Canyon Winery has incredible pedigree; Made of grapes from the famous Alegria Vineyard in the Sonoma County town of Healdsburg, winemakers Jack States and Randy Keyworth have created a wine of character, complexity and richness. I enjoyed a glass on its own, and later with a fresh pasta primavera and pan seared baby artichokes with lemon. In both cases, the wine was perfect. Its richness and layered flavors with big aromatics make it just exactly the type of Syrah I enjoy best.
You have been reading my mission reports long enough to know that I try to never let misconceptions or preconceived notions color my judgment. At least when it comes to great wine finds.
Since becoming a Wine Spy I have traveled far and wide and I have discovered some great wines in some pretty unlikely places; I have found wines that were incredible in Isreal, tantalizing in Turkey, perfect in Paraguay, brilliant in Bangladesh and magnificent in Madagascar.
What I never expected to find, was Outstanding in Oakland!
It happened one day while on a side mission in San Francisco. I finished up early and was famished so I called Agent Sparkle and asked for her recommendation. Knowing of my love for the unusual, she pointed my toward Asia de Cuba restaurant on nearby Geary Street.
The place was great and the atmosphere was fun yet quite civilized. Forgoing a drink order, I ordered their Thai Beef Saled, which was a brilliantly presented mix of beef carpaccio, shredded coconut, avocado and spicy watercress.
After digging in, I asked to see their wine list. As always, I asked my waiter what his personal favorite was. He recommended a glass of 2005 Lost Canyon Alegria Syrah. I recognized the Alegria Vineyard as a vineyard of great repute, but had not heard about the winery – so asked to see the bottle. To my mild surprise (remember, great wines come from everywhere!), I noted that the winery was in Oakland.
I ordered up a bottle and a bunch of extra glasses and then went back to work on my lunch.
The wine arrived and I poured a few glasses and offered them around to neighboring tables, and to the wait staff, asking for opinions – and saying noting about the wine. I took my time with the wine, sniffing and swirling until I finally took a sip. Not only was this one stupendous Syrah, it paired perfectly with my meal. The general consensus was overwhelmingly positive. When I revealed the origin of the wine, I was met with happy disbelief.
Wrapping up lunch and saying my good-byes to the happy people at the restaurant, I hopped in the spy car and headed straight over the Bay Bridge, bound for Oakland, to pick place the winery under close surveillance.
I return from my impromptu mission having met with the fine people that comprise the Lost Canyon staff. With their immaculate and warm facility, the winery folk here are shining examples of how get it right in the wine business.
If you really love what you do, as they do, you’ll make magic happen regardless of were you are. Thanks for reinforcing this belief, Lost Canyon, and thanks for this great wine!
What the Winery Says
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Awards and Accolades:
BRONZE MEDAL — Lost Canyon 2004 Alegria Vineyard Syrah RRV
About This Wine:
This Russian River Syrah comes from Alegria Vineyard. This vineyard is located on rolling landscape near the town of Healdsburg. This vineyard benefits from cool breezes that bring in the fog from the ocean in the morning and recedes to warm sunny days. These are perfect conditions for our cool climate Syrah. This wine is violet in color with notes of cedar, spice, cassis, blackberry, and earth. This wine is elegant in structure with a great finish. We produced less than 225 cases of this wine.
About The Winery:
Lost Canyon Winery’s focus is on producing small lots of vineyard designated Pinot Noir and Syrah from some of the finest vineyards in the Russian River, Sonoma Coast, and Los Carneros appellations. Lost Canyon has nurtured a passion for crafting the finest quality wine since 1978. Lost Canyon’s primer commercial release was unveiled in 2001, and since that time has won numerous awards and accolades.
We look forward to sharing our wine with you and hope to see you at our tasting room. Enjoy!
Bob, Randy and Jack
Harvest Date: October 11th
Appellation: Russian River
Bottle Date: February 17th
Time in Oak: 18 months
Age of Barrels: 50% new – 50% 1 year
Cooper: St. Martin
Wine Alcohol: 14.1%