The color on this kinda gives away what it’s got in mind for you. Stupidly florescent purple crimson, day-glow Welch’s with a core of black so moon-less an owl couldn’t see through it. Impenetrable in the nose too–or rather doesn’t allow anything else to penetrate. Carmel-sugar briar, the kind of green buggy stew only arising from flogging brush, spray flying, tight cranberry providing the top layer of bright fruit and dense black licorice-ridden bloody stew blackberry. Lots of air pulls some buttery richness out–all that fruit and spice stays on its blood-orange-zest perch–brooding hand-in-hand with the acid.
I promise I will not use the word BLACK in this review again. Here’s the deal with these wines: Easily one of the best-kept secrets on the Central Coast–if not all of California. These wine lay so far under most serious Syrah collectors’ radar, it frankly shocks me sometimes. And they’re not *that* expensive. Let’s put it this way: if Saxum or Pax or some of Washington’s new darling child’s are in your cellar–or glass–you OWE it to yourself to get these wines. I’ll even promise your money back if not 100% thrilled and converted. *George Zimmer voice* I GUARANTEE IT.
Coy in the mouth. It doesn’t whistle randily at you as you might suspect from the jam-packed nose. Clean and tight and laser-focused. *Thin* isn’t exactly the proper word here, but the amount of transparent fluidity that deposits itself onto the tongue is shocking. The first one-third is ruled by elegant cherry and cola. A streak of sexy bitter raises up–raising the hair on your neck–arcing shark-fin-like from the rear forward, disappearing into the now-chunky fruit roll-up partitions your poor brain is trying to compartmentalize this wine into. Fresh fruit keeps pouring in, obfuscating your attempts to wrap up any thoughts. Sagebrush tannin and herbes de Provence angst prod the wild youthful fruit that has now occupied the finish.
Paso Robles Syrah brilliance meets Bien Nacido. That’s all I’m gonna say. This is a ridiculously delicious wine slaughtering Syrah stereotypes and doing it with such unpretentiousness.
2018 LEDGE Syrah Bien Nacido Santa Barbara Co. 15.5