Skin in the Game

Another El Dorado winner: Dusty rose and deep cherry flows effortlessly out of the glass, a dark black nearly impenetrable tincture of purple with a minuscule clear rim. Ripe and packed with fruit, the glossy, glycerin-y dense blackberry shows no burnt, tarry notes often associated with Lodi and more popular foothills regions–or even Paso Robles on the opposite side–but at the same time it isn’t green briary delirium notable in Sonoma Coast offerings. It is plunked right down squarely in the middle: beautiful fruit and concentration and only slight heat.

Tasting it reflects the nose quite properly. Thick and chewy on entry, it packs licorice and dark chocolate in and around the mounds of spicy berry, dark and tannic-ridden, acid propping up the center as the mouthfeel runs herbaceous and slightly stemmy, casting nary a dank old-world note on any surface. The fruit pounds at the ridiculous tannin: a see-saw of abrasion vibrant and alive. I guessed the alcohol slightly above that indicated on the label: a sub-14 number I am happy to see.

This is a delicious wine, dropping perfect Syrah into all the appropriate California slots and showing the density and balance required for an EASY decade of aging. I REALLY want to taste this in ten years. Buy a case and drink one a year.

2018 SKINNER VINEYARDS Syrah El Dorado Sierra Foothills California 13.9

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