Syrah Tasting: RN Estate and Dante Robere


If you’ve been reading this blog with any regularity, Roger Nicolas’s RN Estate Winery in Paso Robles will be familiar. Dante Robere in Livermore Valley, however, is a new discovery for us. There will be a feature article about our recent visit to Livermore later this week. But tonight, as I was mulling a wine choice, I realized we had syrahs from each of these wineries. Why not a side-by-side tasting?

This is heavy competition for the newcomer. RN Estate has established a reputation for very high quality interesting wines. We were so impressed by Dante Robere that we joined their wine club on the spot. So let’s see how they stack up.

RN Estate Syrah Two Syrahs

The RN Estate is a 2011 from La Vista Vineyard, most likely one of Roger’s own. Aromas of forest floor and herbs are followed by a burst of huckleberries and chocolate with subtle tannins and spice.

I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.

To describe the finish, I will quote Crash Davis from the movie Bull Durham → 

Dante Robere offered a 2012 Livermore Valley edition. The aroma features black cherries and caramel, slightly better than the RN Estate (albeit somewhat less traditional). The palate is simpler, with about three notes. The traditional syrah spice is paired with red cherries and soft tannins. The finish is less structured and shorter than the RN Estate.

Dante Robere Syrah Two Syrahs

On balance, RN Estate is a superior syrah. I know, these are different vintages from different terroir. Hey, we drink and taste what’s in our cellar! The real message, however, is that Dante Robere is one to watch. Right now they’re the second-best winery in the Livermore Valley. Placing them behind Steven Kent is high praise indeed.





About the author

Tony Lima has been a California wine fan since arriving in California from the east coast in 1974. He's lived the growth and expansion of the West Coast industry first hand. He's seen the fickle California Wine consumer fads pop up and burst... the craze for Zinfandel, then oaky Chardonnay, then Merlot, now Pinot Noir. On behalf of fellow Californian oenophiles, he hunts for great pinot noir and great values in pinot noir all along the West Coast. His day job is Professor of Economics at California State University located in Hayward. His undergrad degree in chemical engineering (MIT) and his MBA (Harvard) and Ph.D. Economics (Stanford) are the root of his interest in the Business of Wine. He is a card-carrying member of the AAWE - American Association of Wine Economists.

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