Satisfaction Syrah is 100% Amalie Robert Estate grown Syrah. Among our 35 acres of vines, we have planted 0.82 acres (1,188 vines to be exact) of Syrah. This planting represents 4 clones selected for the cool Northern Rhône area of Côte Rôtie, and now Dallas, Oregon.

We grow Syrah right alongside Pinot Noir, and most of the vineyard work is very similar. The primary difference is that we have to wait until November to harvest. We think it is worth the wait.

Syrah is a very adaptive variety, and much like Pinot Noir, reflects its growing conditions. Syrah is grown in the hottest parts of the southern Hemisphere where it is known as “Shiraz” and a bit farther south into the cool climate of New Zealand as well. The entire west coast of the United States grows Syrah from California, to the warm areas of eastern Washington and now very small plantings in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

However, the birthplace of Syrah seems to be the Northern Rhône Valley. Recent DNA research shows Syrah to be a cross between Dureza and Mondeuse Blanche.  Both of these varieties are indigenous to France. Syrah is planted from the cool regions of the Northern Rhône where it is bottled as a single varietal, to the tip of the Southern Rhône where it is often blended with other varietals.


Tasting Notes: Rorschach Ink Red, your frontal lobe is savagely set upon by a barrage of garrigue, charred brisket, rosemary and unbridled desire. Your pheromone rush has just been delivered. A structured assault on the palate teases with supple fruit and velvety textures leading to a much firmer grip as whole cluster tannins make their presence felt resulting in a long and reverberating finish. Hand Harvested, Unfined and Unfiltered.
Culinary Inclinations: Grilled lambchops with sautéed red potatoes, parsnips and morel mushrooms, served aside a spinach soufflé. Blue cheeses are obligatory.

​          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes


Tasting Notes: Perfectly hued, somewhere between cherry red and midnight blue. Heady spice, blackberry liqueur, sun grown cigar wrapper and smoked meat aromas patiently await above the wine’s corona to permeate and colonize all olfactory receptors and hyper-stimulate synaptic activity. The palate experience is expansive and seemingly endless providing balance, depth of flavor and intensity enhanced by whole cluster stem tannins and the cool climate grip of trenchant acidity. Unfined and unfitered.

Culinary Inclinations: Traditional Caesar Salad followed by a buffalo Steak Diane flambéed tableside for 2. These two dishes are often paired together when a delicate question or proposal is at hand. Their origins both date to the heydays of the 1930’s. Today they are revered classics that have stood the test of time. They offer a sense of sophistication and elegance when prepared tableside. Dinner and a show, if you are up to the challenge. And woe betide you to forget the blue cheese course…

​          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes


Incredible indelible red. Black olive tapenade, uncured bacon, freshly cracked pink peppercorns, sun grown cigar wrapper and grill spices plume. Subtle as thigh high black seam silk stockings, the palate is immediately assailed by freshly macerated sun drenched black berries, cherry liqueur and Indonesian clove while ever advancing to the inevitable culmination of expansive whole cluster stem tannin and the afterglow of lingering acidity. Unfined, Unfiltered and Utterly Satisfying.

​          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes


Unequivocally Enigmatic Red. And so it begins, with black olive tapenade, cardamom, cinnamon and enough deep dark fruit to cuss a blue streak. Deceptively engaging on the rich and juicy palate until the whole cluster tannins come into focus providing welcome restraint and an energized posteriori palate condition. Unfined and unfiltered.

​          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

Inky ruby. Ripe dark berries, licorice, olive and exotic spice scents take on floral, smoked meat and mineral qualities with air. Sappy and broad on the palate, offering bitter cherry, cassis and salty olive flavors that are firmed by a spine of juicy acidity. The floral nuance repeats emphatically on the long, dark-fruit-driven finish, which is framed by even tannins that provide shape and grip.

- Josh Raynolds, Vinous, September 2020 - 93 points​


​​​​Alluring Belladonna berry red. The call of the Sirens lures you into the deeply perfumed bouquet of intense jasmine, incense, smoked meat and an endless array of suggestive aromas permeating your subconscious and vying for your favor. Once committed to the glass, you become the submissive. Deeply textured and broadly defined Syrah coats the palate while wave after wave of berry and spice plunge you deeper into the abyss. Stem tannins join with cool climate acidity to provide enduring restraint prolonging your odyssey. Once you have, you cannot unhear the Sirens’ call. Unfined and unfiltered.

​          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

Opaque ruby. A complex, expansive bouquet evokes dark berries, cherry pit, incense and pungent flowers, and a smoky bacon flourish builds in the glass. Concentrated but lively as well, offering energetic blackberry, bitter cherry, candied violet and licorice flavors and an undercurrent of vibrant minerality. Shows strong tenacity on the subtly tannic finish, leaving behind smoky mineral and floral pastille notes.

- Josh Raynolds, Vinous, September 2020 - 93 points​


Ambuscade red. A full frontal lobe assault of cracked black peppercorns, rosemary, bacon fat, tar and minerals permeate the olfactory senses. A seamlessly ending barrage of repeating red and black fruits invade the palate with a firm grip and luxuriously integrated stem tannins equally unyielding and unapologetic. It’s kinda like that… Unfined and unfiltered.

​ - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

Bright ruby. Fresh cherry and dark berries on the nose, along with hints of incense, olive paste and candied flowers. Energetic and focused in style, offering bitter cherry and cassis flavors and spicy touch of cracked pepper that appears on the back half. Finishes very long and precise, displaying repeating spiciness and dusty tannins that lend gentle grip.

- Josh Raynolds, Vinous, February 2018 - 90 points​


Exuberant red leads you to grilled bacon wrapped black olives on a freshly tarred country road adjoining a lavender farm on a warm afternoon.  A gentle breeze directs precision to intention and the unique ripening curve of cool climate Syrah is revealed. Lissome yet assertive flavors permeate and are buttressed with focused acidity. Ever present stem tannins assert discipline and foretell of a return to this place befriended by the passage of time. Unfined and unfiltered. 60 cases produced.​

​          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

Vivid ruby. Heady spice- and mineral-accented raspberry and cherry scents show excellent clarity and pick up subtle woodsmoke and cola nuances as the wine opens up. Alluringly sweet and precise on the palate offering intense red fruit liqueur blood orange spicecake and violet pastille flavors that show a suave blend of richness of vivacity and no rough edges that I can detect. Finishes very long sappy and smooth with fine-grained tannins lending gentle grip.

- Josh Raynolds, Vinous, January 2017 - 92 points


Deeply hued dried blood red taunts “Are you sure?” and arouses more than just a passing interest. Heady and exotic scents trigger primal hunger. Black olive tapenade, rosemary, ripe crushed blackberries, bridle leather and smoked bacon rind mask pheromone. You suddenly imagine an English riding crop. Layers of deeply expressive fruit captivate while the velvet glove of acidity enforces discipline in a cool climate conquest. Unfined and unfiltered. 98 cases produced.

- Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

The 2011 Syrah Satisfaction includes 50% whole-cluster fruit of four Rhône clones (plus a touch of co-planté Viognier vines). Not picked until November 14, it has an attractive bouquet with macerated red cherries, Provençal herbs, juniper berries and a touch of melted wax. The palate is medium bodied with ripe red berry fruit mixed with blueberry, Seville orange marmalade and a healthy pinch of white pepper lending the finish that Rhône “vibe.” Very linear at the moment, the finish is quite tight. I would actually cellar this for one or two years as it should replay handsomely.

- Neil Martin, The Wine Advocate, March 2015 – 91 points


Deeply hued dried blood red allures. The full frontal lobe assault is cinnamon, clove, blackberry jam, incense and savory smoked meat, immersing your senses in cool climate Syrah with a stolen kiss of Viognier. Phasers on stun. The palate is clean and delineated, transcending dark cocoa, 5 spice, blackberry compote and olive tapenade integrated with fines herbes. The lengthy, taunting finish is a testament to the mélange of finely grained stem tannins mixing with brisk acidity. Unfined and unfiltered. 70 cases produced.

- Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

Even with a November harvest – which seems to be de rigeur for these vines, given that even the 2009 was picked in that month – the Amalie Robert 2010 Syrah Satisfaction barely reached 12% alcohol. (And that’s even with some – accidentally – inter-planted Viognier, for more about which and about this project generally, consult my Issue 202 review of the 2009.) That sounds like a recipe for ripeness-deficient trouble, but instead was one for a Syrah unlike any other I can recall, and whose ilk I have only remotely approached from Schneider Vineyards on Long Island or in Saint Joseph and Cote Rotie of three decades ago. Smoky Latakia tobacco and peat; burley tobacco and beef blood; plum and cherry; grapefruit rind and bittersweet floral perfume combine for a brightly juicy, if lean; dazzlingly diverse and interactive show. The tannins here are perfectly placed to invigorate without engendering roughness, and the combination of salinity and marrowy depth captivates the salivary glands in a sustained finish. But bear in mind my initial comment: this is certainly unlike any contemporary Syrah, and those drawn to it will probably think my score miserly while others will think I got carried away. How this will evolve in bottle can only be guessed at, but I would certainly encourage anybody lucky enough to make its acquaintance to follow at least a couple of bottles through at least 2018.

- David Schildknecht, The Wine Advocate, October 2013 – 92 points


Unending legs sheathed in a penetrating blackberry hue stain the glass. A co-fermentation with 2% Viognier and whole clusters provides lift to a scintillating mélange of heady blackberry compote, savory smoked meat, black olive, coriander and a dusting of bittersweet cocoa providing nuance to pungency. Full bodied, silky and viscous, yet showing restraint on the palate, vacillating between deftly balanced red and blue fruits and rich Moroccan spices. A purposeful transition to fully developed stem tannins controlled by firm acidity lingers hauntingly. The hunter becomes the hunted. Unfined and unfiltered. 55 cases produced.

- Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

The vines for Amalie Robert’s 55 cases of 2009 Syrah Satisfaction – a very early example of clonal diversity stateside for this cepage, and mixed by accident with some Viognier – were planted in response to Pink’s love of Cote Rotie and his having studied and drawn parallels between the climate of Dallas Oregon and that of Ampuis. It was not picked until November 7 – but still finished at a moderate 13.6% alcohol – and was vinified with 50% whole cluster. Dark berry fruit is garlanded with violet and gentian, then suffused with mouthwatering salinity and fitted with a stimulating peppery bite. The overall effect here is at once polished – with tannins finer than in several of the estate’s Pinot Noirs of the vintage – vibrant, and persistent. This ought to be worth following for the better part of a decade, during which I suspect some animal and additional mineral aspects will emerge.

- David Schildknecht, The Wine Advocate, August 2012 – 91 points


Intense and deep ruby red. Smoky grilled meat on the bone, black olive, coriander and fennel exude from the glass. Layers of flavors and textures relentlessly struggle for control of the palate while obeying firm acidity. Black raspberry, Asian spices and underbrush give a moment of pause before a taught and commanding finish. Unfined and unfiltered. 50 cases produced.

- Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

The aromas are exotic and pulse quickening, exhibiting a Northern Rhone palette of smoke, tapenade and a hint of menthol. The palate is light and lean, as dry as a cool wind and racy - maybe a bit too racy, in fact, as it more or less finishes before any of the cool lavender and menthol can really register. But give it time: There's an exciting wine here needing bottle age to knit.

- Patrick Comiskey, Wine & Spirits Magazine, February 2012 – 92 points, Year’s Best American Syrah


Intense black red hue in the glass. Pungent aromas offer white pepper, black olives, sweet dried plums, citron, vanillin, and dried lavender. The palate is vivacious with blackberry, smoke, dried herbs, a core of rich earth, and a hint of tar. The finish shows no sign of yielding with everlasting dried herbs, rich tannins and punctuating acidity. Unfined and unfiltered. 25 cases produced.

- Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

The intoxicating scent of this wine reveals classic aromas of peppercorn, olive, smoke and tree bark. Those savory scents lead into flavors of firm black plum. The cool-weather quality of the wine pinches the texture slightly, but that is likely to resolve in time; then serve with a wild mushroom risotto.

- Patrick Comiskey​, Wine & Spirits Magazine, February 2011 – 92 points, Year’s Best American Syrah


This wine’s aroma begins with the traditional cool climate character of white pepper, rich blue and black fruits, lavender, clove and dried herbs. The color is an intense and vibrant red, and foretells of the rich mouth feel of plums, blueberries and sun drenched blackberries. The finish is spicy with lingering tannins.

- Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

Winemaking: The Continuation of Terroir by Other Means ®

I strongly encourage readers to benefit from the delightfully scripted insights into viticulture and winemaking that form the "climate update" blog on Amalie Robert's website, charting the entire winery year.
- ​David Schildknecht, The Wine Advocate

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