Basal

Big spicy bramble coming out of the glass–a quite staining deep ruby with hints of amber garnet inside the pink and clear rim. Dark and smokily-tinged, the herbaceousness bringing all your vegetal dreams to fruition. Fruit a deep berry and ripe plum dessert, it’s a thick elixir of bouquet with hints of hay and barnyard, not the wild green notes I am used to getting from this label’s Pinots. This is serious Syrah, not playing around with Sonoma Coast-style fresh frivolity, but headed straight for the jugular in blood-deep typicity.

Tasting it lightens the mood a bit, a jolting bit of acidic dryness gripping the entry, preparing receptors for an infusion of cheery fruit. Dense cherry impales the tongue, carefully held back from sluttiness by the ache of pith and briar. Bruised rose petals add an elegant floral essence, the whole mouth-feel a black tea of herb and berry-seed.

I’m rather sad to be consuming this orphan at only 4, as it bears ALL the hallmarks of Syrah eager and ready to go the long-haul. Another decade will be but a blink to this wine, although tannin is quite mellow. But the balance and backbone is there, along with plentiful concentrated fruit. This producer consistently gets my highest marks in the room at the annual World Of Pinot festival, and I never tire of reminding: People who make top-notch Pinot almost ALWAYS crank out stunning Syrah. Checking their website now, this wine is STILL available, and one of their least-expensive wines!

2017 BIG BASIN VINEYARDS Syrah 2%Vg Santa Cruz Mountains California 13.8

https://www.bigbasinvineyards.com/

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