Griffin's Lair

reviews of griffin's lair wines

For many years (from vintage 2001 on) we have tasted the wines made from our grapes— both varietals, all the clones, in barrel and in bottle. And we've made a conscientious effort to compare our wines with those from other vineyards and other appellations. (Yes, it's a rotten job, but somebody has to do it..) The flavor profiles of Griffin's Lair wines, both pinot noir and syrah, are distinct:

The wines are not shy, retiring, or delicate. They are deeply colored, full-bodied, with mouth-filling tannins, a silky texture, and crisp acidity. The flavors are complex, with many layers of dark fruit, earth, minerals, and spice, always with a long finish. That's our take, but reviewers seem to have better adjectives:

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, Issue #227, October 2016
2014 Bedrock Wine Co, Syrah Griffin’s Lair
Rating: 97

The 2014 Syrah Griffin’s Lair from the Petaluma Wind Gap was fermented with 50% whole clusters as well as co-fermented Viognier. This dense purple wine is also great stuff—nearly perfect. It is only 14.5% natural alcohol but offers a wonderful nose of incense, Chinese black tea, white flowers, black raspberries and blackberries, some fried bacon, pepper and espresso. The wine has super-intensity, a lush, voluptuous texture, and a long, heady finish. Again, there’s no need to defer your gratification, as this is killer already. It should last another 5-7 years.

Wine and Spirits 2010
Wind Gap $48
2007 Sonoma Coast Griffins Lair Vineyard Syrah
Wind Gap is Pax Mable's latest project, based on vineyards located at gaps in the coastal hils where inland heat draws cool ocean air over the vines. Griffins Lair is in the Petaluma Wind Gap, a southwest-facing slope planted on coarse gravel and rock. The conditions restrain the young vines ('02 was the first vintage), bypassing the clumsy vigor new plantings often express and creating a youthful brilliance instead. The structure is racy, opening up as the scent of the wine grows more compelling with each sip. It has the crush of black pepper intersecting with the saltiness of coastal air. Enjoy this bottle over the course of several days to catch the evolution it may parallel in the cellar. Delicious with Fra' Mani soppressata.
300 cases Pax Mable Wines, Forrestville, CA

Pinot Report, May 2009
Roessler Cellars
Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Griffin's Lair 2007
Medium-deep ruby color; deep, earthy forest floor aromas; rich, ripe and complex dark cherry, forest floor flavors with sweet oak; good structure and balance; long finish. Deep and nicely complex Pinot from the Lakeville Highway area of the Petaluma Gap. Terrific vineyard, terrific Pinot.
251 cases made $45 Score: 94

Wine Spectator, June 15, 2009
Roessler Cellars
Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Griffin's Lair 2007
Sleek and savory, with a mix of herb, dried currant and cranberry. Tight, full-bodied and focused, delivering a beam of flavors. The tannins tighten a bit on the finish. Drink now through 2012.
$45 Score: 90

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 12/07
Pax Wine Cellars
2006 Pax Cellars Syrah Griffin's Lair
Exhibits notes of espresso, blackberry, lead pencil shavings, some aged game (or is it smoked game?) with full body, incredibly dense fruit, sweet glycerin, and a long heady finish This is super wine that should drink well young and evolve for 8-10 years.
$55 Rating: 94-96 pts. (Barrel Tasting)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 12/07
Pax Wine Cellars
2005 Pax Cellars Syrah Griffin's Lair
The 2005 Syrah Griffin's Lair, from a hillside Sonoma Coast site that is wind-swept, exhibits beautiful flowery bacon and lead pencil notes intermixed with some meat juices, blackberry, and cassis. The wine is full-bodied, rather opulent, fleshy, and mouthfilling with no hard edges, and should drink beautifully for 5-8 years.
$55 Rating: 94 pts.

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 12/08
Culler Wines
2006 Culler Syrah, Griffin's Lair, Sonoma Coast
…displaying beautiful tar, roasted meat, pepper, incense, and blackberried characteristics in its medium-bodied, nicely textured personality.
$40 Rating: 90 pts.

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 12/28/07
Culler Wines
2005 Culler Syrah Griffin's Lair
The 2005 Syrah Griffin's Lair Vineyard exhibits copious aromas of charcoal, pepper, blackberry and espresso, followed by a wine with full-bodied richness, good acidity, and a boatload of personality, as well as soul. It should provide 5-8 years of enjoyment.
$40 Rating: 93 points

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, 5/2008
Arnot-Roberts
2006 Arnot-Roberts Syrah Griffin's Lair Vineyard Sonoma Coast
Inky purple. Sexy raspberry and blackberry on the nose, along with smoky bacon, violet and graphite. Deep, round and supple, with sweet dark berry preserve flavors, velvety tannins and rising spiciness… The finish clings impressively, echoing the graphite and floral qualities.
$66 Rating: 92 pts.

"Wine is bottled poetry."
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-94)