So crazy bright and fresh it almost gives the impression of amateurish at first, just for a split second–then blows off revealing some of the most pristine Syrah fruit I’ve had. Fruit raw and alive, buried under raspy chalky structure omnipresent over the thin delicacy of the pie cherry and strawberry rhubarb. Black tea tannins churn on and on, cutting everything short in a wine-professional’s version of the variety.

There is no minutes-long dessert-rich finish, there is no vanilla, chocolate oak. There is no blackberry, currant, Dr. Pepper nuances. Basically any descriptor whatever bubble-gum blogger that popped up this week is using is not possible to connect to this wine. This is not tourist wine or #drunkmommy wine by any stretch of the imagination. This is shrill, brilliant, workhorse stuff, able to hold its own with the best of Cote Rotie, St. Joseph and young Hemitage, flushing spit and sweat and blood right out into the open with abrasive tannin and acid, bullet-proof fruit singing super-model thin stanzas to an after-party you might just be cool enough to be invited to. Shockingly balanced, ridiculously bright, a contender wherever REAL Syrah is discussed.

A brilliant example of what Yorkville Highlands is capable of.

2016 JOLIE-LAIDE Syrah Yorkville Highlands Mendocino County 12.8

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