One of the special surprises that came about from the Rhone Rangers event was meeting Shane of Shane Wine Cellars. I had been out of the loop on up-and-coming producers and Shane was an entirely new name for me. Gregarious and Falstaffian in demeanor, Shane Finley told me that he moved to California from New York in 2001 after obtaining a graduate degree in English! Working at Copain provided Shane with an early inclination towards the production of fabulous Rhone varietals.
Now an associate winemaker at Kosta Browne, he is producing exceptional Pinot Noir. Shane Wines is his own side project and gives him the opportunity to produce just 700 cases of Syrah. Currently, he is selling about half of his production to a mailing list and the remainder at finer restaurants around California. This is a producer I am looking forward to following as the wines shows tremendous promise, as greatness is already being tasted.
2009 Rosé, Ma Fille, Sonoma County, $15 – Smooth and easy drinking, this rosé of Syrah shows bright engaging flavors of clean refreshing red summer fruit with herbal hints that showed tight integration. There is not too much acidity and I appreciated the long finish, reminiscent of juicy watermelon and strawberries.
2008 Syrah, The Unknown, North Coast, $38 – A dark, inky wine, the grapes came from “unknown vineyard.” The entry was smooth and depicted the classic blackberry, black plum, blossoming with textures of dark chocolate. The finish was tight — this is a wine I would like to taste in a few years as I could sense potential expansion of the palate.
2008 Syrah, The Judge, Mendocino Coast, $38 – Rich and complex, dark and jammy fruit entered the mouth with a distinctive mid-palate of rose petals and elegant dried sage. The finish lingered with balanced tobacco and black plum.
Shane Wine Cellars
P.O. Box 533
Novato, CA 94948