Med ruby with pink edges. Big nutty almond-butter nose, burnt caramel and toffee, roasted beef, savory spices and deep down in, a brilliant round tarry wet leather briar. Not copiously decadent, but layered vociferously in a thinner Claret style but OBVIOUSLY California. I typically frown on Syrah-additions to cab-blends, seeing it as a color- or intensity-crutch and completely unnecessary UNTIL you taste a wine like this and whether it has harmed or cheapened the blend is unknown–as the final result is spectacular. I’m not really picking up too much of the Syrah component–event though it is 22%–as everything is completely and totally beautiful Napa-cab fruit- and nuance-driven. But one has to remember this addition will be NAPA Syrah, a completely different bird than the Santa Ynez Syrah I am used to drinking straight. Decanted heavily, it continues to blossom in the glass 4 hours later. The mouthfeel shows amazing structure and balance, rich and dense and mouth-filling, never cloying. I wandered into Vintner’s Collective in Napa and tasted a couple things completely expecting an over-blown, jammy-tourist-driven grouping–especially with the pedigree of the consulting winemaker of many of their offerings. Completely blown away by the intense acid and tannin of this one–especially being one of the cheapest wines they sell. Concentrated fruit, nearly incomprehensible tucked in around the hardcore pillar of dry, grainy, chewable density of petrichor and pine-pitch and cassis. A definite winner.
2011 BUONCRISTIANI “O.P.C” Proprietary Red Napa Valley 52/22/11/15 Cab/SY/ME/Bec 14.4