$50.00 per bottle / $540.00
$42.50 per bottle / $480.00 per
2010 DEWN Syrah "Bien Nacido (X-Block)"
When you open this wine, it immediately presents as being more or
less closed for business. This is partially a Syrah thing, maybe
even a Bien Nacido thing, but probably mostly a screwcap thing. As
we all should know, screwcaps are more oxygen exclusionary than
corks, sometimes propelling wines into a - one hopes relatively
brief - season in reductive Heck. If the reduction is not managed
properly, the wines can literally reek with sulfides/mercaptans;
more likely, the wines simply experience a period of reticence,
shall we say.
2010 was an exceptionally cool vintage in a climatic as well as
hipness sense; these grapes really struggled to get to the finish
line, but get there they did, which in this instance, we are
somewhat arbitrarily calling 12% potential alcohol. When you first
taste the wine, it appears to be deceptively “light,” but as it
becomes saturated with oxygen, it plumps up and out and develops a
The nose has the very typical character of smoked meat that
seems to be the trademark quality of Bien Nacido’s Block X. This
block was planted from the old Estrella River clone of Syrah, never
really (in my not so humble judgment) any great shakes in the
somewhat infernal environs of East Paso Robles, but when transposed
to a much cooler climate, is absolutely unexcelled in my opinion.
The clone is not what would you call “virus-free,” but in its
sickness may well reside its genius. The modern clones, sometimes
fruitier, darker and color, do not hold an aromatic candle to the
brilliant Estrella River selection. It is my own personal crank
theory that this clone may well be selfsame with the antique
selection of Côte-Rôtie called “Serine.”
With more air, the spicebox is opened: White pepper, nutmeg,
wintergreen, black olive, and maybeeven a whiff of strawberry jam.
Because we try to never ever jettison any lees, this wine has a
rather wonderful silky texture and in the mouth is doonright
savory. The tannins are rather soft but the acidity firm.
You will want to enjoy this wine as it develops over a period
of hours. The fact that it changes so dramatically over time is a
very clear indication that is a wine imbued with real
life-force, and will definitely repay cellaring.
Variety: 100% syrah
Production: 152 cases
Appellation: Santa Maria Valley
Alcohol by Volume: 12%
Vineyard: Bien Nacido
TA: 6.5 g/L
Serving Temperature: 55-60º F
Cellaring: Drinkable upon release (Feb. 2014), 3-15 years
Quick Pairing Suggestions: Seared, spiced ahi tuna, goat gouda,
Saint-Nectaire cheese from Auvergne.
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