Lights on L.A.

Blustery, blurry smoke obscures initial fruit, casting a warm, stewed patina on muddy canvas, highlighted by peppermint. Steely-round, rusty scraping and curry-comb provide ample earthy barnyard. Fruit is a dark, brooding sort, fibbing its way through school and receiving many sharp-looking advances because of it. Lots of air both sullies and jams up the berry, and exposing a graphite shaft somewhat marrying the fruit and dull spice.

This is a name we have started seeing more and more of the past few years. Located in the heart of one of my favorite wine-growing regions in California: the not-quite-AVA-but-should-be of Los Alamos Valley, surrounded by the far-more-inked Santa Ynez and Santa Maria Valleys and the Foxen Canyon trail to the East.. A LOT of my favorite Rhone wines from Santa Barbara County over the years have turned out to be from Los Alamos, And I have explored vineyards far up both Palmer and Cat Canyon roads. I feel like Shokrian purchased a vineyard we all knew the name of? Blankin out on that–I have a hard time keeping up with all the gossip.

In the mouth, we’re all acerola. Barely-fruited rose hips and pithy apple spark a Vit. C fire early middle, casting a definite overtly-sharp glare on the thin berry. Juicy in its brightness, lemon rind and Shasta berry vie for sparkle-rights to the tart raspberry relaxing below. Tannins are a non-existent bunch, just long clean fruit & acid finish with a bit of that early earth from the nose joining in.

Not quite ripe; Not quite clean; Not quite polished; Not quite flabby; Decent low alcohol and fairly complex, balance is in the eye of the beholder. Somewhat like the vineyard’s surroundings of lots of well-defined things, this wine hangs out in the middle. The one thing I have learned from tasting Shokrian wines the past several years is: They will be interesting. This one does not fail in that regard.

2016 SHOKRIAN VINEYARD ‘Estate GSM’ 40/40/20 Central Coast Santa Barbara Co. 13.5

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