1999 Joseph Phelps Syrah
Ripe and concentrated with plenty of color and spicy, red fruit aromas, this wine is distinguished by its core of berry flavors and harmonious balance. This vintage, while showy and drinkable now, will provide enjoyment for years to come.
Connoisseurs' Guide to California WinesOne of California's real pioneers of serious Syrah, Phelp's hits the mark smartly with this generous and expressive offering. A big, full-bodied wine with a fine sense of solidity and a proper bit of tannic grip, it is nonetheless quite well-balanced with lots of fruit, plenty of spice and more polish than expected of such a massive working. If still a little rough and ragged at the end, it finishes with all of its fruity richness in tact, and it needs another five or six years to reach its best.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine CellarFull saturated ruby. Aromas of blackberry, currant, licorice, mint and shoe polish. Sweet, lush and fairly large-scaled, with rich black fruit flavors. A fruit-driven rather than gamey style of syrah, finishing with ripe, spreading tannins that reach the teeth. More complex and distinctly riper than a '99 syrah from Monterey that will be sold only at the winery.