A most pure distillate of black cherry and deep blackberry. Minty with meaty touches of boiled hotdog, blood orange and vanilla wood. Incredibly spicy in the nose, a rash of eucalyptus angst and petrichor rivulets, copper pot and rusty iron in a ridiculously full round fruit-series not succumbing to chubbiness, but carrying itself with aplomb and dignity. So many Santa Barbara whore themselves out to absolute ripeness and cloying spirit, this one has a dark breath and breadth while sharpening and enlightening with an added component. Trying to remember what… was it Tannat? maybe Teroldego? I know it is not straight Syrah, but forgetting what the blend is. Whatever it is: IT WORKS.
In the mouth, pure spirit overwhelms. Cherry–ripe and blushing–melds with bitter beauty, a harsh spectre chimes in to idolize the fruit and create near-perfect mouthfeel. Chalky and bright–not giving ONE INCH up to candy or floss–it sets about on a path toward vinous greatness far seriouser than the label would suggest. This is a wine automatically in the upper echelons of Santa Barbara reds. Even if you’ve never heard of it, even if you are skeptical of the packaging, this is stunning stuff: well balanced, mired in spit and spirit, correct in all ways, a joy to savor and drink. Charmingly low-alc–and it shows even before checking the label–smoky tannins usher the gritty fruit out, everything awash in acid and life.
Not too much of it made–and a side project of a winemaker in the area with a day job of world renown–you owe it to yourself to find a couple bottles.
2016 BEVELA WINES Red Wine Santa Barbara County California 13.5