Bright clear pink medium ruby. Grainy, briary nose, sultry and gamey, bruised hard cherry, mascarpone, blueberry yogurt and beautiful NyQuil maraschino playing peek-A-boo from a sort of rosy, baby-powder cheeriness of dull briar. A spirited decant is definitely in order on this one, and more ridiculously dark, minty fruit exposes itself with each swirl.

Fresh off the kosher Syrah I opened the day before Passover, I was surprised to find these BDX babies in the wineries line-up. I’m gonna guess a fat chunk of PV in this blend and maybe even a nice wholesome 13-5. It is muddled and dirty, peppery and flowery, no big huge steroidal Cabernet Sauvignon showing here, boys & girls–it is a lean and versatile bottle, with curves in all the right places.

In the mouth, rich black cherry stereotype starts off, but immediately a perfumed fig-newton Borkum Riff situation advances upon you, delightfully briary, rife with bitter seeds of anise, mustard and white pepper. All the worldliness of the nose cleans up like Britney Spears at the Oscars, and you are left with a surprisingly elegant package–although a bit shy on manners.

I’m still stickin with Petit Verdot on this one, which isn’t super-normal for Santa Barbara cabs, but that’s what’s talkin to me. It’s a gorgeous wine, it’s just: if you are suckled on the teat of massive vanilla-chocolate-cherry-hi-proof cabernets, this thing is going to probably set you back a couple notches. I would stop well shy of calling it waifish–it is chubbed out in all the right places–and if you have a selection leaning towards lower alcohol and less extraction and purer interpretations of natural fruit with just enough attitude, THIS needs to be on your shelf.

2016 SHIRAH WINE CO. ‘Bro Deux’ CS/PV 75/25 Paso Robles & Santa Ynez Valley Central Coast 13.7

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