O Susanna Won’t You Sing

Since the list was not printed, I told the somm “Older mid-level Alex cab or cold-climate Syrah.”  He brightened.  “I’ll be right back.”  Since we were dining in the middle of Sonoma, I expected RRV Syrah or maybe Carneros, but no.  He produced this.  I’m all, I didn’t drive 5 hours to drink SLH wine, yo!  But honestly, I can not remember the last time I had something from SLH which was not a Pinot.  Yes I can:  It was a Morgan Syrah almost exactly a year ago.  This one is a completely different beast.

Dense, glass-staining purple with pink edges.  AL.  AL.  AL. Searing AL and oak.  SO.  MUCH. OAK.  But not your typical sweet oak-bomb…  A lot of you have perhaps not experienced this, but have you ever stuck your nose in a  BRAND NEW BARREL–one which has never had wine–freshly toasted, nyet: CHARRED and you are supposed to rinse them several times before filling with wine.  THAT is exactly what this wine smells like.  This is the most disgustingly thick extracted concentrated wine in recent memory.  You absolutely have to CHEW this wine.  It is a MEAL.  Bitter and harsh and thick and charred oak and alcohol.

Fruit?  Yeah… I suppose there is fruit in there.  The tiny speck which peeks through is ripe and orange-blossom-honey.  Label says only 14-2.  It is just everything is just crazy out of balance at this age.  What would this be like in 10 years?  I am betting AMAZING.  Maybe 15.  But today?  A little rough.

2011 LUCIA Syrah Susan’s Hill Santa Lucia Highlands Monterey Co.  14.2


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