Well, first of all I opened the wrong Nabor. I totally thought I grabbed the cheaper NSO Syrah and brought it up and opened it, poured and started gushing to my girlfriend how ridiculous it was for a $20 wine and how crazy raw and aggressive and ageable it was for that price, then went back for a re-fill and there’s a dude in a hat staring at me. Oops. So anyway… instead of the $20 Syrah review I *thought* you were getting, it’s actually the $40 one. But I’m not complaining. Not in the least.
The amount of edge this wine shows in the nose is astounding. The cherry is pure, extravagantly simple yet so focused on the typicity prize it wanders neither here nor there on the path. Green stemmy briar eviscerates the fruit, calmed only by sweet spice and a touch of gorgeous oak. Barley malt and black walnut, butter and bitters, berry and soil–all work toward the goal of making this a serious contender in California’s new wine movement away from limp, over-concentrated, over-macerated, forgotten-in-barrel, hi-octane versions dotting influencer’s & wine-guy’s feeds in their characteristic feeding of America’s sweet tooth and bigger-is-better mentality.
In the mouth, there’s a raw, almost clunky ball-drop of rash fruit almost smacking of home-wine or green-wine–a characteristic formerly frowned upon, but as the aforementioned new-Rhone movement takes grip, has nearly enveloped the rank of offerings from Sonoma and Central Coast. The delicacy on the tongue defies your semi-truck expectations, and instead of punching you in the face with fruit density and teeth-flossing concentration, makes the hair on your neck stand up with pure life, delicious acid, and rife, cooling rose-hips, the darkest berry you can cram into a transparent package, and raspy polished vegetal unable to pause its attack on your mouth. How bright can a wine be? How absolutely delicious can it be while maintaining religious levels of acid and tannin?
Well, if you’re the 99, you call it “harsh” and “bitter”. “Un-smooth”. If you’re the 1%, you call it “magnificent”. A “tour-de-force”. “Stunning”. Provocative and able to stand tall with true Northern-Rhone examples from California. And the effect age will have on a wine like this can NOT be under-estimated. Buy a case and drink one a year. Buy TWO cases and drink one a year. You’ll thank me.
2018 DUSTY NABOR Syrah Kimsey Vyd Ballard Cyn Santa Barbara Co. 14.0