The nose on this one is all Nothern Rhone, and the taste brings a bit more southern aspects into play. It’s a nice grasp of green vegetal and California warmth brought together in a very friendly wine for fans of both. And considering the price-point: who could ask for anything more? Bright purple-red in the glass, glycerin-y measures of ripeness glow off the bouquet over a sweltering ration of piquant, briary nuances. It reeks of Sonoma coast on one hand–but brings savory depth of Santa Barbara in full measure.
In the mouth, supple berry cascades in all directions, sharpened with ridculous acid and a streak of screaming green. An absolute infant, but one with copious legs and brilliant dark cherry and blackberry matching the thick, macerated nose. Dusty, leathery notes abide, the whole thing calving off layers of complexity hard to match in wines double the price of this exemplary second label. In keeping with the marketing, tannins are kept in check, and the finish is mellow and spicy where hardcore angst might be expected. But there’s no short-changing the depth of pure Syrah delirium here. In the grand scheme of bargain Syrah: say, the Hitching Post Big Circle, the Qupe Central Coast, or even Pax North Coast, FEW can touch this in terms of refined, early-enjoyment balance. And–like all those mentioned–the balance exists for a decade or more in the cellar.
2020 NSO by Dusty Nabor Syrah Santa Rita Hills Santa Ynez Valley Santa Barbara Co. 14.5