This is a rather interesting Syrah. It has a lot of the qualities I like in a St. Joseph jumping out of it–but also a heavy kiss of California sunshine. Dark ruby in the glass with a thin clear rim. Generous briar patinas deep fruity ripeness: a *roundness* eclipsed by clear American oak pungency. And I DO love my American oak. I know it gets eye-rolls from a fair number of people, but I like its texture and abrasiveness. A bit flabby in the nose–feeling almost older than 3–the vegetal aspects of it dulled by cellar-floor and a high note of bright cherry. But it’s a concentrated bouquet, safe and robust: agreeable on all fronts.
Tasting it pumps up the jam considerably. Peppery angst tries to be shy, but is hiding behind chubby fruit easily pervious to heat and sharp bite. Smooth and concentrated on the fruit-front, spicy and poignant on the body-side. Toasty leather and salty licorice control the core, the fruit disappearing into glorious bitter streaks of ineffable structure. It’s a bit hot, and the calm thickness of berry does all it can to dissuade that nuance, resulting in a nicely-done wine at a great price-point: built to please many palates–including plenty of Rhone particulars.
2018 MEADOWLARK VINEYARDS ‘Estate’ Syrah Santa Barbara Co. 15.0