Wow. Drrrrrty greasy stuff. One thing you can always be certain of: the first sniff of a Shokrian is going to surprise you. If you don’t like surprises in wine, just stick with your Saldo and Justin and 19Crimes and you’ll be happy forever. Gobs of burnt tire and asphalt initially: smoky olives cured in salt and bobbing in oil, shriveled against the brine. It gradually blows off to a canned, concentrated fruit–rife with cinnamon and nutmeg and allspice dredged over vanilla frosting studded with cut stems from along the freeway. Nutty-black and ridiculously ripe, I can’t wait to taste it and hopefully gain some middle-ground insight as to where this thing will land.

Far shriller in the mouth than expected. Tart lemony notes attack, sharp and overwhelming, masking the concentration and briar you expected. Middle-ground finds you awash in solid, perfectly-ripe–still crisp–cherry, no maraschino or grenadine here. More citrus follow up, an acerola grind of non-chewable Vit. C matches the intensity of the fruit perfectly, making the center-section balanced and calm. Quite chewy and dense but at the same time clean and pure. A quite interesting syrah. Calm and surreal across several planes–exciting and invigorating over many others. Not a serious amount of tannin glowering through the finish. Everywhere that smoky citrus. A juxtapositional wine. Not normal. Very good. Incredibly unboring.

2015 SHOKRIAN VINEYARDS Syrah Los Alamos Valley Santa Barbara Co. 13.5

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