I sampled two outstanding Rhone rangers recently. Graff Family Vineyards is a small producer in the Chalone AVA of Central California. They specialize in Rhone varietals & they do them justice. Their 2005 Consensus is a blend of 94% Syrah 4% Mourvedre & 2% Viognier. It has a beautiful purple/ruby color in the glass with aromas of blueberry, smoke, beef, soil & anise. The aromas are bright but not overpowering. Flavors of dried meat, blackberry & a viscous texture are evident on the palate.
Next I tried Gloria Ferrer Syrah 2002 Carneros. Yes that Gloria Ferrer. I was surprised that they produced anything but bubbly. The real surprise was in the glass. Aromas of cassis liqueur, bacon fat, smoked meat & blueberry-balsamic compote were leaping out of the glass. The palate is still very vibrant, round & super super delicious. There were flavors of blueberry, beef, clove, pepper & a sort of violet-vanilla thing going on. Tasty tasty stuff. I apologize for the photos. Iphone is great but pics, not so much.