Deep ruby with miniscule pink edges. Smoky nose, layered with deep fruit, tobacco and leather, always hitting a high note of clear fruit, crisp and clean–despite the tobacco and leather. Does that make sense? It only makes sense in cool-climate Syrahs.
In warmer interpretations, the fruit cannot survive ahead of the tobacco and leather. All the fruit gets lost in ripe bullshit. You end up with a fat wine quite lovely in the best versions, but lacking in true focus. Of course, it helps to know what Syrah’s true focus is. So many people relegate Syrah to assumed ideals of fat they forget the true focus. This is especially apparent in the plethora of mommy-bloggers today who gush about the perfection of ridiculously ripe, flabby versions of the variety. You can easily weed out the intelligence and wine-knowledge of said bloggers by their glowing “reviews” of such candi-liscious, stupid wines. True Syrah speaks on so many levels other than “yummy”.
In the mouth, patina rules: fruit polished to a dull sandpaper, pencil eraser and cedar shavings vie with green acerbic nectarine while sheer abrasive wet gravel road put minerality on post. A cinnamon delectability affronts the acicic burn, while still-huge tannins tell a story of a wine who’s fruit will never overcome. It’s there, it just has a hard time shining above the structure. Cool-climate to the LETTER, it speaks of Cornas so ridiculously most americans will turn aside. A Syrah for the true connoisseur, and a thing of true beauty from Sonoma Coast.
2009 HALCÓN Syrah Alturas Yorkville Highlands Mendocino County 13.7