88% Syrah, 12% Viognier
Santa Maria Valley
Ideally hold until 2021, then 14 years ageability
2014 Syrah, Bien Nacido Vineyard, “X-Block"
95 Points, Editor's Choice ~ Wine Enthusiast
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$50.00 per bottle / $540.00 per case
$42.50 per bottle / $480.00 per case (Members)
In the nose, one scents both the savage and the refined: a bloody raw meat quality, but tempered with the uplifting candied raspberry nose of a Framboise liqueur. And then of course, there is licorice/anise in spades. The meaty/bloody quality of the wine recalls the sort of iron-filling like impression of a Cornas, but the slightly more perfumed quality of licorice hints at Hermitage. The wine is exceptionally well balanced, moderate in alcohol (13.7%), with a good acidity, ripe tannins and a finish that goes on at excruciating length. Without wishing to resort to gender stereotypes, this is a virile, manly wine and will stand up to a Brontosaurus burger (or just a good hanger steak).
Sometimes it takes a while to get the hang of things. We’ve certainly gone through a lot with this block – from changing of the training style to modification of the irrigation regime – it really has been like watching it grow from a toddler to an adult.
In the most recent vintages, we had taken the habit of air-drying of the fruit post-harvest for a few days before crush, so as to totally lignify the stems, minimizing the vegetal impression. With this practice, we’ve been able to utilize 100% whole cluster fruit, get a slower, more even fermentation and thanks to the tannic contribution of the stems, ultimately create a wine with a much more muscular structure, truly built to last.
What can I say but that this wine really has all of the qualities that I’ve personally come to love in classic Syrah.
Food Pairing Notes
Bacon wrapped Monkfish with Beurre Rouge. Cracked pepper rolled salami. Lamb sausage with lentils. Pepper crusted ahi tuna. French Camembert. Mushroom ragout with Pecorino polenta.