Nice ruddy garnet. Good euro nose of baked bread, rustic perfume and a distinct nutty almond-butter fleshiness over-lying all the tertiary. Dark stewed plum and cranberry jelly with distinct barnyard, lovely–all, just not showing in an exemplary fashion. Thick and concentrated bouquet, black peppery concentration laid on layers of antique perfume.

This is the quite inexpensive personal-label of Etienne Terlinden–formerly the winemaker at Summerland–and while I have been a huge fan of both his wine-making style and this brand in particular, this is not polishing on levels my memory fantasizes about. It is nowhere NEAR lifeless, just not bright and deeply nuanced.

In the mouth, sharp angular beauty brings clean cherry to the forefront. It is mouth-filling and teeth-wipingly acidic, but the fruit has not progressed in directions any person who buys multiple bottles hopes for. Fairly simple, clean one-dimensional berry with little spice and even less accumulation of needed complexity.

On one hand I am feeling it is growing tired; on the other hand part of me wants to say it is pure-to-form and in stasis from the distinctly Euro impressions it left me on release. It has all the northern Rhone beauty you KNOW I buy most of my Syrahs for, but at the same time feels somewhat lifeless. Peppery fruit lays down quickly for a flabby tertiary assault, beautiful things everywhere, just nothing compelling. My fault–probably wasn’t designed to be in the cellar this long, but here we are: a gorgeous wine in youth with all kinds of possibilities, and a still–and completely enjoyable but–kinda forgettable specimen at age 8 feeling tired and hot.

2011 CORDON Syrah White Hawk Vyd. Los Alamos Santa Barbara Co. 13.9


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