2008 VINTJS Syrah

2008 VINTJS SyrahPrice: $6.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

Per Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer “VINTJS Central Coast Syrah is a blend of Paso Robles (warm climate) and Santa Barbara (cool climate) grapes, aged for nine months in neutral French barrels. From the cool climate we get spice, acidity and balance, while the warm climate contributes soft, round, lush fruit. Together, they create a stellar Syrah in the classic Rhône style, redolent of black cherry and pepper.”

What I Think:

This is the 2nd wine I’ve reviewed in the latest from the VINTJS series. As mentioned when discussing the Chardonnay I learned while reading the Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer that these wines were made by Bob Lindquist of Qupe. I’ve had their Qupe Syrah offering and was a fan so I was anxiously awaiting giving this one a try.

With steak on the table this was an easy choice and it delivered. The nose displayed herb notes and dried cherries. The palate showed terrific balance and nice acidity. Fruit is present but stays in the background; this one is not a fruit bomb by any means. The end is loaded with white pepper and under ripe berry flavors that lead to a slight pucker on the finish. It shows a bit of elegance that leads me to believe this one has some room to grow with aging. So that leaves one question, is this a side project with its own juice? Or did they decide to bottle a little bit less of the ’08 Syrah and throw the VINTJS label on the remainder. Perhaps I’ll email Bob and see what he has to say. Or maybe I’ll do a bottle comparison. This one was marked “8265 A 35” on the bottom. Be interesting to see if the same can be found on the Qupe. Regardless, this one is worth seeking out. I’ll be grabbing more…

Rating: Buy It

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7 thoughts on “2008 VINTJS Syrah

  1. HI Jason,

    So glad you also enjoyed the Syrah. It totally blows away any of the Fife Offerings in the latest flyer. They mostly didn’t taste bad, but they were a little thin and I expected a lot more for the price point after having the VINTJS.
    BTW, the Robert Hall Cotes du Rhone ($12) was very tasty with quite a bright finish compared to other (French) Cotes du Rhones I’ve had. I know its a little out of your “normal” price point, but you might want to get it a shot.

  2. Angela/Jason.
    Tried the Castle Rock 07 Columbia Valley Cab. It’s the typical nose of a good california cab., full bodied, good balance of fruit acidity and very mild tannins, hint of oak and peppermint with a long finish that lingers. Reminds me of the short lived Overlake cab but without the fruit bomb. I find the castle Rock very likeable for its’ price quality index. Came back for more, found a few left on shelf. Looks like a some customers bought the 3-5 cases that was there 5 days ago.

  3. Hi Jason,

    I agree with your other commenter about the Robert Hall Rhone de Robles. It’s been consistently fabulous. Also, did you ever get around to trying the Rendition 2007 Petit Sirah?

    Tom Da Wine Guy

  4. @Tom: Alas, I missed the Rendition this time around and now its gone. : (
    However, I’ll be checking the Order Guide tonight for new possibilities and keep y’all updated.

  5. I’m amazed this one is still around almost 1 year after Jason’s review. So, I recently grabbed a bottle banking on Jason’s good review and the fact that syrah is one of a few varietals that can really make my body and soul sing (when it’s a good syrah). Unfortunately, the 2008 VINTJS was too dry and restrained for me–a little too feminine and a little too french-like. I much prefer instead the masculine fruit bomb style which this one definitely was not. Will I be picking up a second bottle of this one? Nope.

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