Chunky cooked tire in a black, searing fire of vegetal and electrical short, the core of funk in the nose NOT coming from peat or barnyard, but a blend of heat and refrigerator drawer with that head of Romaine you kinda forgot about. Raisiny to a TEE, and pulling in chestnut along the medicinal fruit, the bouquet on this Santa Barbara screw-top is not winning any friends here. A more classic study of *what not to do* would be hard to find on a wine-shelf.
It tastes WAY better than it smells. Well… wait a minute. Maybe not. I thought so at first, but then trouble starts building. Viscous on entry, fruit a rather simple cherry then the fire starts building. Are those supposed to be tannins? Is that acid? Is it alcohol fire? Whatever it is, it’s annoying, although it fades a bit far into the finish–exposing what are substantial tannins. An alcoholic lump remains in the throat–like you swallowed bourbon wrong.
I’m assuming this is a cheap side-line project for this winery. Cheap side-labels typically don’t have super-hi alcohols, so I am a bit flustered trying to guess this one. The alcohol is not ALL the woes, but it is contributing HARD to all the issues in the nose and then comes ALIVE in the mouth. The 5 years of age do NOT help. I want to say its like 15-2, but a wine marketed like this typically keeps the “label” in the 14’s. Those in the back rows will notice this producer’s locations coincides with my least-favorite AVA on the central coast, but this bottling pulled down a regular old ‘Santa Barbara County’. Still…. You maybe can’t take the Ballard Canyon out of the winemaker.
2014 LARNER WINERY Syrah ‘Transverse’ Santa Barbara Co. 14.7