Being familiar with the producer’s provenance and having tasted a couple others in the past, I know these are big wines. But seeing Edna Valley on the label led me to believe there *might* be a bit of restraint involved. It was not to be. Inky staining blackness in the glass, the minuscule blue rim unconcerned with thinning. Burnt and ridiculously rotund on the nose, an eye-blurring concentration of alcohol and what I suppose was once fruit. Reduced down into greasy jelly, the dull black cherry now hopelessly infused with a kind of cinnamon and nutmeg syrup impossible to gain nuance from. With plentiful air, a sort of moldy citrus high-note evolves–a futile attempt at lightness or complexity.
Visiting this wine makes me wonder: WHERE do you drink them??? By themselves? As in: THE WINE ITSELF IS A MEAL–something fans of this style frequently recite. With dinner? The concept of drinking something of this nature at a table with food is also laughable. I’m quite bewildered WHEN would be the occasion to enjoy this bottle, and that leaves WHO drinks these wines. Well, we ALL know well enough exactly who.
Tasting it is a chore. There’s no pleasantness. No uplifting charisma. No flavors requiring 3-digit IQ’s to describe. The grainy texture paints the mouth with grit and fire, a burning cauldron of un-stuffed concentration both sweet and chokingly hot. “Chewy” is an understatement, as everything goes into over-drive to get this liquid out of your mouth in whatever direction is quickest. Wines like this make me sad for Paso, and set the region back decades.
2018 ULTIMA TULIE Syrah Jespersen Ranch Edna Valley San Luis Obispo CA 15.6