Hookers & Loam

An unhesitant pitch and mineral brine comes off the nose. Sharp and vigorous in its petrichor and match-head, it brings sodden earthy brilliance to new levels. Weedy and studded with prickly points, below: a saline, egg-white, salted-caramel perseverance to ripeness. The dark ripe cough-syrup fruit is nearly invisible to the nose below these two juxtapositions: Caramel on the still glass; Mineral on the fresh swirl.

I’m not certain where Donati Ranch is in Edna. I know I’ve been told, but have forgotten. Obviously, no one here is a stranger to Edna Valley Syrah, with the powerhouses of Slide Hill and Alban perched “up” at the south end (the way the valley is shaped, the end they are at just *feels* “up”–like it should be the north end–but in actuality, the fog comes in the coastal window and stacks up down here on the lower end of this small, wind-swept, but quite sunny valley. I feel Donati is down in the heart of things before the foothills to Arroyo Grande or Avila: on the long, perfect, gently rolling, loamy valley floor.

Oh man in the mouth a bright, blistering beauty of the variety. Clean, perfect berry dances all over, light and brilliant–only hints of maraschino from the good ripeness hinting at something that will lay down nicely for years. All that mineral produces a spicy bite, generous acid chiming in for the balance-quotient. Black walnut and tea-leaf tannins bitter and charming, fruit never taking a break.

Quite excited about this freshman Syrah effort from this producer. The prowess of the Pinots go without saying, and as I have often said, find a stellar Pinot producer and IF they make a Syrah, it will usually be killer. This is no exception.

2017 TIMBRE Syrah ‘The Hook’ Donati Ranch Edna Valley San Luis Obispo Co. Central Coast 14.5


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