Acclaim

General Praise


“I tasted few wines from Andrew Murray this year than last, which is partly a reflection of Murray’s move to focus his range. At their best, these wines – the Syrahs in particular – deliver compelling quality and value, a balance that is frankly commendable in today’s market.”
“Santa Barbara: The Thrill of Discovery” by Antonio Galloni, July 2014

“This set of new releases from Andrew Murray Vineyards is full of fabulous choices at all price points.” (Sept 2012: Antonio Galloni for The Wine Advocate)

“This set of wines from Andrew Murray is remarkable for its breadth of quality and sheer value.” 8/2011, Issue #196: Antonio Galloni for The Wine Advocate

Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate

“Andrew Murray Vineyards is one of the shining stars in the Santa Barbara firmament. Extremely low yields…and a dedication to hillside vineyards, ripe fruit, and non-interventionalistic wine-making have combined to propel this estate to the top echelon of the Rhone Ranger hierarchy. Production is small,…but these wines are well-worth seeking out.” (8-27-99 and 2-28-02: Robert Parker for The Wine Advocate)

“At a time when many California wines seem to be priced proportionally to their producers’ egos, Andrew Murray’s offerings are a breath of fresh air given their exceptionally high quality and realistic prices – readers take note.” (8-27-99: Robert Parker for The Wine Advocate)

“…an emerging star in Santa Barbara.” (12/98: Robert Parker, Jr. for The Wine Advocate)

www.winethropology.com

“Categorically, these are not wines for the beginning wine drinker. They are interesting, provocative, quality wines which have a story to tell. And it’s a story other wines don’t have. Damn good stuff. But (and that’s not a there’s-a-downside-to-them ‘but’) they are different. Consumers, very generally speaking, have come to expect a certain fruit-driven flavor profile from California wines. Thankfully – and much to their benefit – these wines do not fit that profile…

Often times when we taste wines for review – even good ones – they come and go, quickly getting lost in the mix of a constant stream of variety and the busy-ness of life. Andrew Murray’s wines, however, have been haunting; their character lingering for weeks and the reason for spending extra time in the “Other” section of retailers. Sure, we’d like them more if the prices were $5 less a bottle, but that’s just the cheap-skate talking. These are worth every penny.” (6/2010: Steve McIntosh of www.winethropology.com)

“Anyone who’s ever splurged on high end audio equipment knows that there’s a big difference between hearing music, discerning tonal granularity, or even identifying subtle nuance of instrumentation – and feeling, experiencing the music. Andrew Murray’s wines speak with a focus and clarity that rings true with uncommon purity – causing you to feel and experience the wine more than just drink it.

His wines are so interesting – which is such a terrible word to describe them, but that’s what they are. One to another, there’s something to think about. But overriding that is that they are pervasively enjoyable.“ (1/2011: Steve McIntosh of www.winethropology.com)

Favorite Wines of 2010: “Andrew Murray – Perhaps the most unusual bottlings I’ve enjoyed this year – and certainly the wines which have haunted my thoughts more than any others. Andrew’s Rhone varietals/blends defy categorization and deserve a closer look for the seasoned wine lover craving authenticity.” (1/2011 Steve McIntosh of www.winethropology.com)

The Wine Enthusiast Magazine

“…nor does a good Syrah need to be expensive…you can easily get a very good Syrah in the $40-$50 range, and there are many—… Andrew Murray…—that retail in the $30s and even $20s. (10/2011 Steve Heimoff for The Wine Enthusiast Magazine)

“The Santa Ynez Valley may be known as Pinot Noir country, but forgive us if after this tasting we think of it as Syrah country. Led by risk-taking vineyard owners, such as …Andrew Murray, this region is exploding with potential. Like in the other top Syrah regions of California, there’s a balance of spice and fruit in the wines that’s a result of the climate.” (8/2005: ‘Betting on Syrah’ by Joe Czerwinski for The Wine Enthusiast Magazine)

Food and Wine Magazine

“04 Tastemaker Awards: #1 Santa Barbara Wine Maverick: Santa Barbara is one of California’s hottest wine zones, due, in large part, to extraordinary talents like Andrew Murray of Andrew Murray Vineyards. …makes intense but elegant Syrahs, Grenaches and Viogniers…” (11/2004: ’04 Tastemaker Awards: Kiri Tennenbaum for Food & Wine Magazine)

Food and Spirits Magazine

“Summary comments from Doidge included: “There didn’t seem to be a clear benefit to moving into that mid-range. Many of these wines didn’t have the attractive price nor the
pretty fruit characters of some entry-level Syrahs. But they also lacked the complexity
and depth of those at the high end.” Notable exceptions were the two wines from Andrew
Murray and a Syrah from Arrowood. This trio really stood out from their thirty something
(dollar) neighbours.” (3/2008: Gary Werner for Food & Spirits Magazine)

The Wandering Wino

“Such great people and high quality wine for really exceptional values. I’d be really proud to take any of these wines anywhere, but prefer in my glass! … When I think Andrew Murray Vineyards wine, I think Mr. Rhone, Syrah, and value.” (7/2011: Shawn Burgert for Wandering-Wino.com)

WinePHX

“To say that Andrew Murray strives for perfection in each of his wines might be a bit of an understatement.” (7/2011: Nathan Treanor for WinePHX.com)

Specific Praise


On AMV’s Esperance

2010 Esperance – “The 2010 Esperance is gorgeous! It is without question one of the finest Rhone-blends produced in California in its price range.” (Sept 2012: The Wine Advocate)

10 Outstanding Rhone-Style California Reds – 2009 Esperance Andrew Murray Vineyards. 90 Points “Elegant and graceful….” (2012: The Wine Spectator)

‘09 Esperance – “Rhone specialist Andrew Murray has succeeded with this lovely blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre.” 91 points (2012: The Wine Enthusiast)

“It continues to gain in the glass over several hours, focusing into creamy boysenberry. Yummy! 92 points” (10/2011: Glen Frederiksen for winelinesonline.com)

“The 2008 Esperance is a serious, imposing wine. Rating: 92.” (8/2011, Issue #196: Antonio Galloni for The Wine Advocate)

“2008 Esperance – Sensational walk on the wild side. Unusual and pleasing in every way.” (8/2011: Steve McIntosh for winethropology.com)

“The flavors are hypnotic, dark cherry and blackberries with a pronounced spiciness. The tannins are well-integrated and it’s a beautifully crafted wine.” (8/2011: The Wine Harlot)

’08 Esperance: Finalist, Sunset Magazine’s Western Wine Awards, 8/2011

“This wine was clearly my favorite of the three I tasted. Andrew has created a masterpiece with this wine. Rating: A+” (7/2011: Nathan Treanor for WinePHX.com)

“Esperance (GSM style) really was exceptional, I’d have to say 94 for that bad boy. I bet this sells out quick. Get two, drink one now, then hold on to one and brag about having it after it sells out.” (7/2011: Shawn Burgert for Wandering-Wino.com)

“It is an excellent California Cotes du Rhone look-alike.” (8/2010: The Wine Advocate)

“Marvelous cornucopia of flavors coming at you. …not for the casual suburban housewife Pinot Grigio drinker.” (6/2010: www.winethropology.com)

“An attractive California version of a low level Cotes du Rhone…” (8/2008: The Wine Advocate)

“A fine value…” (8/2006: The Wine Advocate)

“California needs more wines such as this…good quality at a fair price.” (8/2004: The Wine Advocate)

“…comes closest in quality to a top-flight Crozes-Hermitage.” (2-28-02: The Wine Advocate)

“Readers looking for a terrific red wine value should check out Andrew Murray’s 1997 Esperance…” (8/1999: The Wine Advocate)

On AMV’s Syrah Tous les Jours

Andrew Murray’s Syrah Tous Les Jours 2010 “…remains a fabulous value”. (Sept. 2012: The Wine Advocate)

Great American Value Reds – 100 wines under $20 Andrew Murray Vineyards 2009 Syrah Tous Jours! (Sept. 2012: The Wine Spectator)

Top 10 Red Wines Under $20 – 2009 Andrew Murray Vineyards Tous Les Jours Syrah. The first wine to score a perfect 10 on my taste ratings! (2012 May: The Reverse Wine Snob)

Editor’s Choice 2009 Syrah Tous Les Jours from Andrew Murray. 91 points (2012: The Wine Enthusiast)

2008 Syrah Tous les Jours: #1 on ReverseWineSnob.com’s Top Ten List (9/2011: Jon Thorsen for ReverseWineSnob.com)

“The 2008 ends with a really fantastic finish. To top it all off, we found the wine to be even better on day 2. Luscious is a great word to describe it. – Bulk Buy Recommendation” (9/2011: Jon Thorsen for ReverseWineSnob.com)

“The 2008 Syrah Tous les Jours is a stunning bottle of wine for the money… This is a superb, entry-level Syrah from Andrew Murray. Rating: 91.” (8/2011, Issue #196: Antonio Galloni for The Wine Advocate)

“This (2008 Syrah Tous les Jours) certainly fits the bill for an everyday drinking wine. I wish all my days included a bottle of this. Rating: Excellent (91)” (8/2011: Marc Hinton for Enobytes.com)

“The lighter-styled 2006 Syrah Tous les Jours tastes like a French Crozes-Hermitage.” (8/2008: The Wine Advocate)

“The real stars from Andrew Murray are the three Syrahs. The lighter-styled 2006 Syrah Tous les Jours tastes like a French Crozes-Hermitage.” (6/2008: The Wine Advocate)

“Food & Wine American Wine Awards 2007: Best Wines $20 and Under…Andrew Murray gave this Syrah the serious treatment generally reserved for a producer’s best wines (limited yields, hand-harvesting). The rewards are clear in this concentrated red…” (10/2007: Richard Nalley for Food and Wine Magazine)

“A great value, the 2003 Syrah Tous les Jours successfully mimics a straightforward, juicy, up-front, delicious, herbaceous French Crozes-Hermitage.” (8/2006: The Wine Advocate)

“Always a reliable performer, this high quality winery (which was briefly showcased in the movie Sideways) fashions an everyday Syrah (and Crozes-Hermitage look-alike), the 2003 Syrah Tous les Jours).” (6/2005: The Wine Advocate)

“The attractive 2002 Syrah Tous les Jours is a St. – Joseph look-alike.” (8/2004: The Wine Advocate)

“The fruity, joyous 2001 Syrah Tous les Jours is Andrew Murray’s version of a Crozes-Hermitage or St. – Joseph…a good one.” (8/2003: The Wine Advocate)

“Readers looking for a Crozes-Hermitage / St. – Joseph look-alike from California should check out this offering from the excellent Andrew Murray winery in Los Olivos.” (6/2003: The Wine Advocate)

“…Cotes du Rhone-like effort.” (2/2002: The Wine Advocate)

On AMV’s Grenache:

Andrew Murray Grenache Paso Robles Terra Bella Vineyard 2009 Score: 92 points “12 California Reds for $40 or Less” (2012: The Wine Spectator)

Andrew Murray 2009 Terra Bella Vineyard Grenache (Paso Robles) 90 points. (2012: The Wine Enthusiast)

“It shows lovely depth all the way through to the textured, supple finish…I loved it. Rating: 92.” (8/2011, Issue #196: Antonio Galloni for The Wine Advocate)

“Always exciting to discover wines from new places and especially if the wine maker challenged given rules. In this wine, we got all in one…great bargain.” (9/2011: Swedish Wine Blogger Per-Olof Diderot, wineblogg.com)

“Deep, ripe, concentrated nose that says, “Ooooohhh…you’re going to love me”. Putting this wine in your mouth is like sliding into a warm infinity pool. A wine that might start out odd, but ends up irresistible.” (6/2010: www.winethropology.com)

“Far more interesting is the beautiful 2007 Grenache, which is also a very good value.” (8/2009: The Wine Advocate)

On AMV’s Syrah Reserve:

2009 Syrah Reserve – “Andrew Murray’s 2009 Syrah Reserve is a big, powerful wine endowed with considerable richness and depth” (Sept 2012: The Wine Advocate)

“The 2008 Syrah Reserve is an impeccable, layered wine graced with exquisite finesse from start to finish…This is a jewel of a wine. Rating: 94.” (8/2011, Issue #196: Antonio Galloni for The Wine Advocate)

“The 2007 Syrah Reserve, which carries a Central Coast appellation, is outstanding. Rating: 90.” (8/2010: Robert Parker for The Wine Advocate)

“Another impressive effort is the 2006 Syrah Reserve…Rating: 90.” (8/2009: The Wine Advocate)

On AMV’s Syrah Terra Bella Vineyard

“This is arguably one of the best Paso Robles Syrahs ever produced” 2009 Andrew Murray Terra Bella Vineyard Syrah. 91 points (2012: The Wine Enthusiast)

2009 Syrah Terra Bella Vineyard 92 Points. “This is an especially voluptuous Syrah that impresses for its depth.” (Sept 2012: The Wine Advocate)

“Phenomenal. Sultry, reassuring, and seductive. Inescapably comforting and delicious. Sonofabitch, this wine has a soul that speaks to yours. As close to a 5 star wine as we’ve ever reviewed.” (9/2011: Steve McIntosh for winethropology.com)

“The 2008 Syrah Terra Bella Vineyard bursts from the glass with a rush of blue and black fruit, licorice, tar and violets. Rating: 93.” (8/2011, Issue #196: Antonio Galloni for The Wine Advocate)

“The outstanding 2007 Syrah Terra Bella Vineyard exhibits…Rating: 91.” (8/2010: The Wine Advocate)

On AMV’s Syrah Thompson Vineyard

2010 Syrah Thompson Vineyard Score: 90 points! (Sept. 2012: The Wine Advocate)

“The 2008 Syrah Thompson Vineyard makes a fascinating contrast to the Terra Bella. Rating: 94.” (8/2011, Issue #196: Antonio Galloni for The Wine Advocate)

“The impressive, dense ruby/purple-tinged 2006 Syrah Thompson Vineyard exhibits…Rating: 91.” (8/2009: The Wine Advocate)

On AMV’s Syrah Watch Hill Vineyard

2010 Syrah Watch Hill Vineyard 91 points. “Readers who want to understand cool-climate California Syrah without spending huge money should check out the 2010 Syrah Watch Hill Vineyard, which emerges from the glass with beautifully delineated dark plums, blackberries, crushed rocks, spices and savory herbs.” (Sept. 2012: The Wine Advocate)

2009 Syrah Watch Hill Vineyard Score: 9 out of 10. (September 2012: Alder Yarrow, Vinography)

“The 2009 Syrah Watch Hill Vineyard… this monster unwinds with a graciousness that begs to be followed up on with another sip, gulp, and glass.” (9/2011: Steve McIntosh for winethropology.com)

“The 2009 Syrah Watch Hill Vineyard…dark raspberries, flowers, spices and star anise are some of the nuances that linger on the impeccable finish. Rating: 93.” (8/2011, Issue #196: Antonio Galloni for The Wine Advocate)

“The 2008 Syrah Watch Hill Vineyard…is a decidedly plush style that is first and foremost about the sumptuousness of the fruit…Rating: 92. (8/2011, Issue #196: Antonio Galloni for The Wine Advocate)

“…the balance and complexity set this wine apart. Rating: B+” (7/2011: Nathan Treanor for WinePHX.com)

“…style of wine that behaves more like a northern Rhone St. –Joseph or Crozes-Hermitage. Rating: 88.” (8/2010: The Wine Advocate)

“The real stars from Andrew Murray are the three Syrahs. The dense 2006 Syrah Watch Hill Vineyard is candidate for early consumption given its seductive, blackberry, olive, roasted meat, damp earth, and spice box-scented perfume. Rating: 90.” (8/2008: The Wine Advocate)

On AMV’s Viognier

2011 Viognier “I’d suggest that you run out and pick up a bottle” (Aug 2012: Now and Zin)

“Enjoy this tasty, medium to full-bodied, dry white over the next year.” (6/2005: The Wine Advocate)

“The 2002 Viognier Estate (finished with a screw cap) is impressive.” (8/2004: The Wine Advocate)

“This pure, clean, stylish Viognier will provide immense pleasure over the next 12-24 months.” (8/2003: The Wine Advocate)

“…one of the finest produced in California. Rating: 90.” (2-28-02: The Wine Advocate)

“…this stunning Viognier is one of the finest being produced in California. Rating: 90.” (8-27-99: The Wine Advocate)

On AMV’s RGB

“You really should try this blend. It will impress as a stand-alone sipper. Or it would fulfill its purpose if you chose it as the wine for your first three courses if you are doing a seven plus course degustation. Rating: Excellent (90).” (9/2011: Marc Hinton of Enobytes.com)

“The 2010 is a beautifully textured white that caresses the palate with melon, honeysuckle, ripe pears and jasmine. Soft and perfumed through to the finish, the RGB shows tons of personality and sheer class. Simply put, it is a striking wine readers will not want to miss. Rating: 92.” (8/2011, Issue #196: Antonio Galloni for The Wine Advocate)

“…al­most ev­ery­one kept com­ing back for more, mak­ing this the clear win­ner of the trio.” (9/2011: Greg May for TrulyTastes.com)

“You’ll have serious sense-memory overload with Andrew Murray Vineyards RGB 2010, an amazing white Rhone blend. -A serious glass of wine, at a wallet-friendly price-point.” (8/2011: The Wine Harlot)

“RGB is a Roussanne, Grenache Blanc blend that I’d say yes to anytime and a 93.” (7/2011: Shawn Burgert for Wandering-Wino.com)

“This wine is a perfect summer wine and paired beautifully with the cheese board and fruit…Rating: A” (7/2011: Nathan Treanor for WinePHX.com)

“Immediately interesting and complex without being demanding or challenging… An exciting white wine. Delicious and graceful.” (6/2010: www.winethropology.com)

On AMV’s Syrah McGinley Vineyard

Another dazzling effort, the 2009 Syrah McGinley Vineyard is bursting with varietal character. Savory herbs, tapenade, leather and crushed rocks are some of the many notes that emerge from this intense, full-bodied and deeply expressive Syrah. 93 Points! (Sept 2012: The Wine Advocate)

“The 2008 Syrah McGinley Vineyard is a dark, earthy wine loaded with personality…terrific depth. Rating: 92.” (8/2011, Issue #196: Antonio Galloni for The Wine Advocate)

On AMV’s Syrah Three Creek Vineyard

“For sheer deliciousness, it’s hard to beat this Syrah. For all the richness, the wine finishes dry and elegant. Compellingly good, and a worthy alternative to a great Napa Valley Cabernet. – Rating: 94.” (2010: Steve Heimoff for The Wine Enthusiast Magazine)

“The 2007 Syrah Three Creek Vineyard …impressively made…” (8/2010: The Wine Advocate)

On AMV’s Syrah Kingsley Vineyard:

“Rich, dense, super dark blue-green Syrah fruit with highfalutin aromatics.” (9/2011: Steve McIntosh for www.winethropology.com)

On AMV’s Syrah Santa Ynez Valley Hillside Select Reserve:

“…less rambunctious and more refined. A distinguished wine that speaks softly and carries a big stick, it whispers its power in baritone. A real treat.” (6/2010:www.winethropology.com)

On AMV’s Syrah Roasted Slope Vineyard

“For all its obvious power, this wine is elegant and stylish. The underlying strength and staying power of this wine shows in the tannic finish.“ (2010: Steve Heimoff for The Wine Enthusiast Magazine)

“Andrew Murray Vineyards Roasted Slope Vineyard Syrah 2005 (Santa Ynez Valley): Dense, ripe black fruit on the nose with touches of thyme/oregano and green olive. Smooth and rich on the palate. “Grown-up” flavours of herbal black fruit with some black pepper. Firm grip at the finish. Really stands out.” (3/2008: Gary Werner for Food & Spirits Magazine)

“Food & Wine: The Buyer’s Guide to 75 of the Best California Wines, Insider’s Favorites: “…define winemaker Murray’s homage to the great Syrahs of France’s Cote-Rotie region.” (4/2006: Lettie Teague, Ray Isle, Richard Nalley for Food & Wine Magazine)

On AMV’s This is E11even Wines:

“…this debut bottling over delivers on thrills… Clearly well made – and dangerously accessible. Deal.” (10/2011: Steve McIntosh for winethropology.com)

Re: ’06 Purple Haze: “The addition of 10% Viognier adds a rose-petal perfume to the black berry fruits of the Syrah – 90 points.” (10/2011: Glen Frederiksen for winelinesonline.com)

“…let me tell you about this wine because for only $20 it was incredible!” (7/2011: Angela Soleno for Examiner.com)

From the Winemaker Blog

Featured Vintage

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