Original Review, January, 2008: The R. H. Phillips EXP Syrah is actually a blend of grapes from California… for 2004, it includes 76% Syrah 10% Petite Sirah, 8% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot. It is aged for 12 months in American oak.
In the glass, the EXP is dark red/mahogany, a bit lighter at edge. It pushes out a brilliant, bold, perfumed aroma of inky black cherries, wholly distinctive.
On the palate, bright clean berry fruits are the first sensation. A touch of oak comes in, along with some acids on the truncated finish. Very nice, except for the fast goodbye. Three stars with a plus for the awesome aroma. Great value.
Updated Review, February, 2009: Colors and aroma have held fast. On the nose, there is a bit more plum pushing out than I noticed a year ago.
The berry fruits are there – they form the base for a clean, round middle. Light, nice acids, even finish. I’m still good with the three stars. With the extra age, I don’t quite still see the plus for aromatics, but a solid three stars still. That continues to make EXP Syrah an extraordinary value.