La What

Dark ruby–perfectly clear–thin clear rim. A nose ripe and somewhat flabby, cherry headed into raisin, blackberry headed into obesity and syrupy sweetness. Small moments of cellar-floor and school-bus seat attempt a diversion to the overweight nature of the bouquet, but the fruit-cake pervades. Slight varnish and dusty oak attempts earthiness, but a weak attempt. At 5, there is no tertiary, merely a muddled stew of sugar and obese fruit.

Tasting it provides a bit more depth and spirit, an explanation of Syrah fitting more in the pigeon-hole of the variety than the nose displays. Clean but awkwardly acidic–with charade-like conformity to structure–the one-dimensional fruit in the palate can NOT rise above the decidedly citrus and dirty-furniture woodiness the pond-water nose suggested. The round middle arches into wet cardboard and peeling Red Flyer paint before non-existent tannins. Oh: It’s dry; It’s structured; It’s acidic and nuanced–just in a helter-skelter way, creating off-beat resolutions, heated and too ripe.

I love Syrah and I love what it SAYS to me. While relatively *good*, it doesn’t speak restrained complexities on ANY level and maintains shallow derivations throughout its crowd-pleasing demeanor. Despite suggestions of grandeur, they never materialize. It’s a big, boring Ballard Canyon–just thinned out a little. End of conversation.

2015 LA VOIX Syrah Rancho San Ysidro Ballard Canyon Santa Ynez Valley Santa Barbara Co. 14.0

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