Rocky Finish

Dwindling down to my last few of these… Allegedly some are available on the site, but I’m pretty sure the winery is defunct. At one time the darling-child of cult producers in the SMV, it has sunken to obscurity. A few remain in local shops, and if you find them, I highly recommend them–including the Chardonnay, even with extended age. The vineyard-sources and winemaker-roster speaks to the one-time greatness of this brand and the wines are holding up marvelously.

Dark garnet with bricking-edges staining, a concentrated elixir from start-to-finish. Dusty dirt and rich earthy patina explode from the glass, tertiary and polished, roasted meat on oak BBQ, dark chocolate and a weedy mélange of berry and leathery fruit. Possibly a bit past-peak, it will only appeal to die-hards of the brand and those appreciative of aged-Syrah curiosity. The pure thickness and concentration of the nose DEFINES syrah, although in a Hermitage-ish sort of muddy funk.

In the mouth, alcohol and acid strive to balance the black fruit. This tiny Phelan vineyard on a rocky hillside in Arroyo Grande Valley is a sacred spot, and only the creme de la creme get the fruit. A stunning syrah at 14, it exudes sweat and focused cherry from every pore, tannin polished and vibrant, creating a leathery coating on effortless deliciousness and concentration. The cat-tongue finish creates teeth-wiping dilemmas as you attempt to process the complexity shown. Not a shy wine, and I only wish I could have tasted this on release.

2006 GREG LINN WINES Syrah Rim Rock Vineyard Arroyo Grande Valley San Luis Obispo Co. Central Coast 14.2

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