Mencia (not a true Rhone grape): Alvaro Palacios of Spain (sold under the Descendientes de J. Palacios label) Petalos blend and Las Lamas. She also loved his 2000 and 2002 Finca Dofi Priorat, a blend of garnacha, carinena and cabernet.
You can check out the rest of the recommendations in her article, but here is a taste of her palate to see if it matches yours:
SYRAH: Lost Canyon, a small winery based in Oakland, had a fine lineup of syrahs from the Russian River and Sonoma Coast areas; the highlights are the bright, peppery 2003 Trenton Station bottling ($35) and the concentrated 2003 Alegria Vineyard ($33). Pax Wine Cellars also had an impressive collection, ranging from the smoky 2003 Obsidian ($45) to the dense, outstanding 2003 Alder Springs ``The Terraces'' ($75).
From Paso Robles, the 2002 Robert Hall Reserve Syrah ($34) is ripe and supple. Eberle Winery's 2003 Steinbeck Vineyard ($22) is a little more tannic, with lovely fruit. And the 2003 Falcone Family Syrah ($28) is ripe and juicy, with firm structure.
Other California syrah standouts included the spicy 2002 Lagier Meredith ($50) from Mount Veeder in the Napa Valley; 2002 Palmieri ($27) from Stagecoach Vineyard, also in Napa; 2003 Obsidian Ridge ($25) from Lake County; and a pair of well-balanced wines from Qupe Wine Cellars, the delicious, spicy 2003 Bien Nacido ($27.50) and the even more concentrated 2002 Bien Nacido Hillside bottling ($40). The 2002 Bishop's Peak Syrah ($16) from Edna Valley is easy to drink and a great bargain, as is the 2002 Firestone ($18) from Santa Ynez Valley.