Nicholas Allen’s goal with Carte Blanche is to craft luxury wines in America that are inspired by classic French winemaking tradition. His great grandfather, Clarence Dillon, owns iconic Bordeaux producer Chateau Haut-Brion. From the very beginning, Nicholas made a pivotal move in hiring renowned French-born winemaker Luc Morlet to help achieve his goal. Luc made this brilliant Three Peaks Syrah, then winemaker Helen Keplinger completed the wine. You might recognize Helen from being featured on the front page of the Wine Spectator or from her work at Bryant Family and Grace Family.

The Three Peaks Syrah arose from the volcanic, clay, and rock-laden soils of the Judge Family Vineyard in Bennett Valley. The site’s micro-climate and unique terroir is ideally suited for Syrah and attracts top-producers like TOR, Carlisle, and Christopher Tynan, who’ve made Syrahs from it.

The 2013 Carte Blanche Syrah checks in at 90% Syrah and 10% Grenache and the addition of Grenache highlights the intense red fruits, and adds hints of spice notes, while the Syrah contributes depth and classic meaty characteristics. I would use your own Carte Blanche to secure the case, and especially at this price.

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Winery Notes, “… A plush and full-bodied Syrah; the wine has ample structure to age. A touch of Grenache highlights notes of wild red fruits and a hint of cardamom and spice. The 2013 Three Peaks strikes a harmonious blend of savory notes and beautiful fruit. Green tobacco leaf, hints of mint and bacon fat are enveloped by black cherry, baked raspberry and cocoa nib mingle on the nose. Equally layered on the palate, all of these elements emerge slowly as the wine opens to a ample mid-palate and generous finish.”

Winemaker Helen Keplinger Carte Blanche Syrah
SUPERSTAR Winemaker Helen Keplinger Carte Blanche Syrah

Tasting Notes from Edward, “… Dude, Check out the Awesome Guns on winemaker Helen Keplinger! That’s the true sign of a SuperStar Winemaker. It is not easy making wine, and doing punch-downs will give you ripped forceps and triceps… you go girl! This wine is everything I love about Syrah. Meaty packed with spice and fruit, yet so balanced. I was thinking about grilling a Ribeye tonight, but I decided to just open a bottle of this instead. Drinking my dinner this evening because that’s a Syrah!” Nearly Perfect – Try a Case for Yourself (it’s not going to last long)