Black black black impenetrable dark purple-ruby of an absolute Death-Star transparency. One of the most shocking dark wines I have seen. Ruby-purple straight through the thin edges. Don’t forget: This is a 5yo wine. An eensy funk out of the bottle but advised everyone to calm for a minute whilst that 5yo thing wakes up for showing.
The nose almost instantly transforms into this dense velvet tincture of exotic over-ripe fruit, Moroccan lap-dances, a definite steely brier, crazy oak and alcohol. So steely, it’s like licking a rusty pair of pliers. Amazing concentration in the mouth–quickly enveloping everything with its rich, round overwhelming mouthfeel and channeling more oak and alcohol.
The initial perceived sweetness insult is promoted by the simple middle but thwarted by the moderate acid and wonderful tannic finish. This is an interesting wine. If you are a fan of big ripe Syrahs then it definitely benefits from keeping a decent pour in your glass. Down in the low-pour range it develops a bit of glycerol gaminess–which also can be very nice, I suppose. I pegged the ABV at much higher than label states. 16-1 was my guess, but then I quickly started thinking–well, this is a 2009, and 16-1 wouldn’t taste like this at this age, now would it?
This wine is all over the map. At once a fat over-ripe bomb to put on your pancakes, and at the same time an earthy, mineral-ridden tannin-bomb you want to savor and stash. And that wet-sandpaper, carborundum, aluminum-oxide, pine-pitch nose just continues and continues ad infinitum and is SOOOO lovely. But that alcohol. And it is a bit fat. But it is fairly balanced and lovely. You wanna call it a tourist wine? You could try that. You wanna call it an over-ripe jelly-bomb? You can do that too. You wanna call it an over-extracted muss? Well…. I wouldn’t go THAT far. It’s just too balanced for that. And the color says otherwise and color almost NEVER lies. This is a serious contender for serious Syrah. It IS a tad fat. I am going to put a newer release on fast-track because I really want to taste this at maybe year-three or even two. Label states a solid 14-5 mmmhm hmmm. I think it has another decade on it easy.
2009 RUSACK Syrah Ballard Canyon Santa Ynez Valley Santa Barbara Co. 14.5