Bear Market

Outside of California’s Central Coast, finding a Brucher or Golden Bear wine will be almost impossible. Somewhat of a self-marketed, hand-sold, hand-delivered brand, there is a smattering of shops and restaurants around here which carry it. A local resty I frequent has some on the list, and I almost ALWAYS bring wine when dining there–but in an emergency, their stash of old ones comes in handy. Finding a 30-dollar wine of merit on a fairly touristy old-school ‘Continental’ dining establishment is a rarity, and a 13 year-old one in perfect condition–able to suit a persnickety palate like mine–is even rarer. But until they sell out of these things, I will continue ordering them–GLADLY. Perfect cork, perfect color, very little signs of age, and a Syrah to boot. WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE???

Deep ruby with just the slightest hint of brick at the extreme rim. Polished and supple in the nose, a bit of petrol, roasted briar, motor oil and sweet fruit. Grapefruit minerality and blood-orange grip are impossible to ignore. Thick cellar-floor absconds in the face of even thicker berry and overall roundness, briar plying a counter-point in a rich, full bouquet impossible NOT to love. I don’t think it is super-hi alcohol–I’m going to guess 14-2. Everything points to great balance.

In the mouth, absolute perfection. There’s no WAY you could write anything bad about a wine at this price-point, at this age, buried in a resty list, showing so lovely. THICC blackberry preserves, pie-cherry vivre, tertiary polish bringing all your leather and dusty rose fantasies to fruition, I have 10-year-old wines in my cellar drinking older than this. The aged funk of the nose is a crucial part of the entry, firmly introducing the fruit, laying complexity upon complexity in true perfectly-patinaed fashion. Tropical nectar frame the finish, where tannin is only slightly relinquishing its stronghold. Everything is in perfect ripe balance–a true testament to quality, low-intervention wine-making with no blingy labels to live up to or axes to grind.

Having a back-up this ridiculous at a restaurant is a rare thing. And I am thankful for everything this gorgeous bottle brings to the table.

2007 GOLDEN BEAR Syrah Santa Maria Valley Santa Barbara Co. California 14.3

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