Here’s what Galloni said of the 100-point 2016:
The 2016 Syrah Sonoma-Hillsides has been nothing less than stunning on the three occasions I have tasted it so far. A wine of extraordinary purity and depth, the 2016 dazzles from the very first taste. The richness and power are simply breathtaking. Bacon fat, smoke, grilled herb and lavender are woven into a graceful, seamless core of inky blue/purplish fruit. Even with all of its intensity, the 2016 remains remarkably light on its feet. The Sonoma-Hillsides is a blend of fruit from Castelli-Knight Ranch, Griffin's Lair and Walker Vine Hill, done with 100% whole clusters and aged in a combination of concrete and neutral oak, with no SO2. I am not sure how the 2016 will age, but I am also not sure it will matter, as most bottles will be long gone before that is an issue. Quite simply, the Sonoma-Hillsides is a total pleasure bomb and a modern-day benchmark for Syrah in California. Don't miss it!
Star Sommelier (and Rhone specialist) Matthew Beazley of Marc Forgione says:
I taste & drink as much Rhone Syrah as anyone on this planet. Last year Pax delivered a world class bottling with his first vintage of “Sonoma-Hillsides” that I affectionately dubbed Hommage a Trollat as the bottling was inspired by our magical meeting with Raymond. [Chrish: Raymond Trollat, now retired – his vines went to Desestret – was the benchmark producer of classic Saint-Joseph, like Gentaz in Cote-Rotie.] I am mind-boggled to say that the ’17 Hillsides is as good or better than the ’16.
In part, this is because Pax has launched a new North Coast Syrah so he can be even more strict in his selection of this!
Another 100-pointer? We’ll see. But given the demand, this will be long gone before we do.