I hunt for these beauties in regions that are known for growing grape varieties that favor a slightly cooler climate, such as pinot noir. Syrah and pinot noir share a unique dialogue: syrah can just ripen in places where pinot noir can thrive; it can live on the fringe in a pinot noir-prominent region. If a region is known for pinot noir, I look into who is growing syrah there, and that's a wine that has potential to be extraordinary.
Such syrahs can still be dense and powerful, but instead of presenting jammy fruit aromas and flavors, they tend to be herbaceous and smokey, peppery, highly interesting, and perfect with savory food.
Kivelstadt 'The Ineritance' syrah 2009 (Sonoma, CA)
200 case production - 30% whole cluster - 18 mo in French oak - 30% new oak
Jordan runs the winery with the help of his parents and good friend, Alex Pomerantz. In addition to 'The Inheritance' syrah, the team also makes a skin-fermented white wine, old-vine carignane, a pinot noir, and a few others. 'The Inheritance' refers to something Jordan's parents have established for him, and something he hopes to pass on to his own children. Jordan's surname is a blend of both his parents' last names (Nancy Kivelson & Tom Angstadt); and the winery as a whole is an extension of the family's unique amalgamation of kinship and identity.