So Close to Paso–So Far Away

Garnet foam from the pour, reflecting the rim of an otherwise black-purple juice. Dirty and magnificent on the nose, all your grimy diesel, soot and soggy peat dreams come true, decadent blackberry fruit hinges on green stemmy brilliance, sweaty barnyard enriching and smoothing a toe-curling acid and mineral, moldy tangerine, hibuscus, the dusty residue of antique theatre seats fluffing everything to near-petrichor levels, an absolute orgasm of Syrah bouquet you literally CAN’T take your nose out of.

So complex, the dirtiness raises the bristles of the fruit, not green at all, but concentrated smoky pyres of hardwood leaves muddle on asphalt and foggy ceilings, HOW you get something so icy-crisp, so sex-ridden and at the same time ridiculously ripe from a tiny cold vineyard in a soggy valley so close to the Pacific Ocean is a true testament to both the terroir and wine-making prowess. I haven’t even tasted it yet.

In the mouth, buttery shards of prickly berry lay fat and writhing on the tongue. The burn of acid and the battle with tannin are obvious from the get-go, the middle an oozing of watery concentration banked on all sides with walls of concentration, but the core remains streamlined and refreshing. A true sign of good Syrah, and WHAT I LOOK FOR. Life, everywhere: here with 5 years under its belt, barely polishing, barely smoothing, just starting to rub some of the rough edges off into sparkles. But there’s plenty of rough edges left–another thing I look for in Syrah. Beautiful cherry and plum in the finish, the structure playing along nicely in the sandbox. The last thing you remember is the fruit–NOT the tannin. There’s another goal.

2014 STOLO Syrah Cambria Estate North Central Coast San Luis Obispo Co. 13.8

www.stolofamilyvineyards.com

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