So we find ourselves opening ’99 syrahs, starting with the ’99 Edmunds St. John Syrah “Wylie-Fenaughty” from El Dorado and the ’99 Eric Texier Côtes-du-Rhône “Brezeme”. An interesting study, since both Syrahs come from emerging regions and small, artisinal producers. The much-discussed Texier has a firmer acidity and a soaring perfume, lots of tannin. Great wine at a spectacularly low price. The ESJ is, for California, atypically restrained and elegant, with the herbal and mineral notes that I associate more with France than the Golden State. Steve grumbled that his wine was off, opened two more bottles, grumbled some more… they all tasted pretty much the same to me, which was mighty fine. His misgivings aside, my impressions were highly positive- another fine Syrah from the hills.