My Name is Étienne, and I am here to Destroy your Syrah

This guy makes the best Syrah in Santa Barbara County.  I am pretty convinced.  Of course, it doesn’t hurt that I am in love with his 2001 and can see totally where it came from now tasting–for the first time–his younger stuff.  Absolutely the biggest, headiest, smoky nose believable.  The richness and ripeness is there without a trace of AL.  Jam-packed with spice and briar and honestly not a lot of burnt-rubber or petrol or wet leather or asphalt which is often used to describe a fabu syrah.  This thing is just smooth and polished and amazing.  Yes, I said “smooth”.  Sue me.  As much as I despise that descriptor, this wine is so subdued and balanced, there really is no other way to describe it.  A lot of the heady woodsy smokiness blows off with a bit of air–a GOOD thing–and you are left with this incredibly spicy, round, ripe, fruit bouquet which just BEGS you to drink it.  And then you drink it.  It is not huge.  All you huge-wonks will be disappointed.  Thin, even on entry, but then there grows on the palate all of the ripe, round, and balanced nuances you felt in the nose.  There is nothing overt.  Nothing huge.  Nothing gigantic or overwhelming or mind-boggling.  What is mind-boggling is just how subdued and clean and fresh and even and balanced the whole experience is.  A nice layer of acid gradually works its way in around the middle and gentle–but ample–tannin tuck your tongue into bed and kiss you on the forehead like a beautiful woman–with her hair gently whisping across your face and tickling you into awareness.  As balanced and subtle and gentle as this wine is, you can not ignore it.

2011 CORDON Syrah White Hawk Vineyard Los Alamos SYV Santa Barbara Co. 13.9

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