One of my favorites aspects of collecting wine is the seemingly never ending opportunity for sensational exploration + trivia! In the ‘trivia’ department, I recently realized that the Syrah grape has a legitimate claim to the title of “Most Inter-Continental Collector Wine” of all. Yes, I’m very aware that most passionate oneophiles typically refer to Cabernet as the “King of Grapes” and the fact that the most expensive grapes on Earth hail from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti’s coveted Pinot Noir vines in Burgundy. Syrah’s unique claim is that it is the only grape that consistently produces highly prized + highly priced bottlings on three different continents. Working with the most avid private wine collectors in America, I’ve had the chance to visit many of their cellars. Virtually all of these top-tier cellars (5,000+ bottles) contain a selection of Cabernets/blends from two regions (Bordeaux + Napa) as well as Pinots from both California and Burgundy. Syrah is the only grape represented by bottlings from three distinct countries – – America, Australia, and France – – that I’ve noticed in the majority of these cellars. Below is a short list of the top 2 most highly prized and priced Syrah from each country that I’ve seen most frequently featured in these prolific collections. All have received numerous 99 – 100 point ratings from CWA as well as other leading critics such as Robert Parker. For perspective, I’ve also listed their most recent release prices per bottle.
Penfolds Grange 2012 ($723)
Henschke Hill of Grace 2010 ($696)
Sine Qua Non 2013 ($304)
Cayuse 2014 ($125)
J.L. Chave Hermitage 2013 ($299)
Guigal ‘La La’s’ 2012 ($315)