“I’ll be back.”

Holy wow. Reviewing a wine like this is tedious at best, but someone’s gotta do it. Just absolute impenetrable liquid–visually and palate-ly–the merits of which are outstandingly obvious, but cloaked so ridiculously inside a shell of pine-nut proportions. Practically battery-acid to the casual taster–needing a decade to even BEGIN to approach–but let’s break through that and get it in your cellar. Unlike this producer’s cabs and Burgundian bottles which approach deliciously despite their aging potential, this is NOT a wine designed for supermarket-shelf-marketing to the average *drink it tonight* demo. Decanted vigorously.

Purple black opaque obfuscation in the glass, though not particularly staining. Bright rigid nose brings sweet cherry around through thick walls of steely mineral, chalky dust and stony fortitude. It is clean and un-mired in funk, cellar-floor or barnyard, though the toasty dark patina casts savory aspects all around. Crushed-velvet floral adds a note of elegance, as it also does not exude delirious amounts of vegetal: as a fair number of Sonoma Coast and Mendo offerings are wont to do. It also is not black thick heated maceration–as Paso versions incline–it’s somewhere firmly in the middle: a healthy brushfire of briary spice capped with deep, dark berry.

Tasting it will put hair on your chest, the fine points of cellar-age potential springing forth from behind the fortress of stricture. Teeth-wipingly bitter and massive even at entry, gorgeous cinnamon and nutmeg spice see-saw bracing dry rasp. Raw pie-cherry and pomegranate seed grind acid and grainy pulp into every orifice, a thick blackberry finally exploding mid-palate, enjoying a rich ride across the palate before tannin slowly crushes its reign. Everywhere are the earmarks for a near-perfect version of the variety destined for the long-run. It’s perfectly ripe while CRIMINAL to be drinking at this age, but I go out so you can stay in. Buy a case, drink one every two years.

2018 TERMINIM Syrah Alder Springs Mendocino 14.0


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