A lil Sierra Foothills sunshine in the glass tonight, and this is NOT your typical super-ripe heady Amador-etc-type Zin or Rhone. These Skinners are a different breed: clean and un-toasted, not black-concentrated in the glass, but clear and refined–tasting and smelling much more akin to Northern Rhone or even Sonoma Coast versions. And while those nuances will get points off from the bigger-is-better palate of the 99%, they are WIN-WIN for people appreciative of complexity and finesse from Syrah. Earthy and roiled in dusty patina on the nose, sharp, tangible fresh fruit carry sophisticated sweet ripeness in their crisp grip. Weedy compost and barnyard give polished counter-point to the bright berry–creating an almost smoky, Amaro bouquet.
Tasting it fills just about every goal you have for beautiful Syrah. It’s a Goldilocks sort of agreement: not too thin; not too ripe; not too sweet and lush; not too tannic. Not stuffy or awkward in the slightest–but also FAR from simple Jolly Rancher titillation. Acid sullies the otherwise glossy surface of pristine cherry and blackberry, introducing green-brier crunch and probable cause for a tannic argument. Moderate alcohol is another testament to this *thinking-person’s* wine–NOTHING getting in the way of clairvoyant appreciation.
Bottles like this set Sierra Foothill wines ahead DECADES, and we need WAY more producers like this east of I-5.
2018 SKINNER VINEYARDS Syrah El Dorado Sierra Foothills California 13.9