The 2010 Sterling Vintner’s Collection Syrah is sourced from several vineyards in California’s Central Coast AVA. Syrah has become the forgotten grape, wine shops, at one time, had whole aisles of Australian Shiraz and Washington State Syrah and now there might be only 2 or 3 different Syrah/Shiraz available. Sterling didn’t even have information for the 2010 Syrah on their website, it was the only wine in their Vintners’ Collection that was missing. Syrah can make a lush, rich, spicy, medium bodied Red wine, I can’t think of one good reason why Syrah wines are not in greater demand. In 2009, the Sterling Vintner’s Collection Syrah has small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blended in and the wine was aged for 12 months in American and French oak barrels. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The color is black cherry red with a pink halo. The nose is dominated by oak spice, with plums, Altoid’s spice, chocolate powder. This is a silky smooth wine up front with a good bit of spice showing up at the mid palate. It tastes of rich, extracted blackberry, sweet blueberry and milk chocolate. The mid palate changes things up with a stew of spices, along with a nice contrast of strawberry. The tannins make their presence known but do not get in the way and the acidity is balanced. The finish is full and long.
The 2010 Sterling Vintner’s Collection Central Coast Syrah has very enjoyable balance of lush fruit and spice, the body of this Syrah is on the lower side of medium, so you get a rich wine that is not too heavy. The more this Syrah opens up, the more prominent the interplay between fruit and the spice becomes. I found the Sterling Syrah selling for $8.49, the prices on the web are all over the place, from $7.50 to $16. At the lower end of the price spectrum the Sterling Vintner’s Collection Syrah is a bargain, you can detect a family connection with Australian Shiraz, but the Sterling Syrah is more of a cousin than a brother or a sister.