JC Cellars 2006 Rockpile Vineyard Haley’s Reserve Syrah

Jeff Cohn, the former winemaker at Rosenblum Cellars—a producer of particularly fine vineyard-designate Zinfandels—stepped out on his own in 2006 to devote his full energies to JC Cellars. His modus operandi resembles that of his former employer, Kent Rosenblum: Establish relationships with the finest growers across the state to produce modest quantities of immodestly great wine. Although Cohn produces more than 20 different Rhône-style wines in his Oakland, Calif., warehouse-cum-winery, the Syrahs he has sourced from the Rockpile Vineyard—a rugged scrap of terrain situated on a peak above Lake Sonoma—are his masterpieces. The JC Cellars 2006 Rockpile Vineyard Haley’s Reserve Syrah (www.jccellars.com, $60) is as intense and generous as the vineyard is spartan and bleak. The scent of wildflowers greets the nose, while unctuous brambleberry juice and concentrated black-cherry liqueur wash over a deep core of ripe tannins.