Impenetrable purple ruby with a thin florescent pink edge. Potent fruit, grimy and soiled but so cherry, dusty-rose and acerola perfect and of a concentration the peat and green-briar actual help thin it to manageable doses. Still, the black licorice, seawater, and peppered jerky rise out of the glass like heat waves off a Barbie-doll in a T-top Corvette.
This wine gets pretty much the same treatment as every other wine at this establishment–treatments which have solidified this producer in the upper echelons of No-Rhone-style producers on not only the Sonoma Coast, but California–and by default: the New World. The only two differences are: a tiny bit of carbonic–noticeable upon opening, gradually deepening and disappearing with air–and the price: noticeable when you sign your credit card receipt. I’m not gonna say this is de-classified *SONOMA-HILLSIDES* fruit for half the price… I’ll let you use your imagination.
Taking a sip, the lip-smacking becomes involuntary. Somehow impossibly thick and viscous on entry, the fruit CHARGES into your mouth, riding a shrill wave of intense mineral notes and splashing bright pink berry in all directions. Abrasive tannins–perfectly at peace with the nubile fruit–tell yet another story of a wine wizened beyond it’s age and price-point.
I keep asking myself where the short-comings in this wine are. I’m not saying I’m *trying* to hate it, or necessarily even poke holes in the emperor here, but as most of you know, I don’t drink the Kool-Aide, and every wine has to hold itself. But this wine is fucking perfect. And it’s 30 bucks. Oh, you can’t afford Pax??? You can NOW. And there’s enough of it made to make a fair number of the early-responders happy… but I would recommend getting your butt in gear.
2018 PAX MAHLE WINES Syrah North Coast 12.6