The Casaeda is a ridiculously good Syrah for under 20 bucks. It’s a little more on the fruity side of cool-climate Syrah, and you can definitely tell it has some oak because of the hint of vanilla on the nose, but it still has a lot of characteristics of cool-climate Syrah. I get a fair amount of plum and pepper in this wine (I always love that combination) and it’s just got such nice fresh acidity. It’s also got about 13% of Napa Valley Petit Verdot in it, which might account for the hint of oak and richness that I get.
The acidity and minerality are the key here though, because they lend a little rusticity to the wine and that’s what makes it right in my wheelhouse. That being said, this wine is an attack to the palate and benefits from breathing for a while. With a little bit of age, the wildness might mellow a bit, making it even more delicious. Its only got 14.1% alcohol too, which makes it palatable and food friendly.
At 17 bucks at K&LWines, this is a great deal and a good introduction into cooler-climate Syrah profiles. I bought a few bottles to stick in my little wine fridge and revisit in a couple of years.
According to the K&L website, the grapes for this wine come from a high elevation just west of Sonoma, near the Sonoma side of the Carneros region. At first, you might not think of the city of Sonoma as being very cool-climate, but those of us who know Carneros (I grew up in Sonoma), know that the fog and cool winds come in through the Petaluma Gap and cool things down considerably in the morning during the summer months. Throw in the higher elevation and you get a great example of cool-climate California Syrah.