Gorgeous grainy ruby in the glass with purple going off at the rim. Sexy initial brett blows off quickly into an acerbic melange of eucalyptus bark, burnt rubber and ATF. Sharp cranberry and green raspberry play hard on the nose, mired in a deep cinnamon butternut squash trying desperately to keep varietal alive but the graceful earthy funk is long forgotten and that stripe of intense bell pepper vegetal a make-or-break situation. But that is not this wine’s biggest problem.
Fruity sandpaper rasp on the palate, a deep black cherry straining at lush briar and crispy spice to perform briefly on the tongue as an interesting uptake. The glimmer of hope turns to first a blocky, chunky, almost deadpan fruit-core before an intense dis-jointed acridity shocks the mouth into startling folds of revelation. That is where this wine loses almost all plausibility: in the finish. Unbalanced and awkward, over-whelming almost all fruit promises and falling far shy of what could be considered *structure*. Cherry-tart sweetness does little to counter-balance glaring absurdities no amount of age will correct.
People love my “buy a case–drink one a year” recommendations but here I am going to go the other way. Everyone on this planet should buy one of these and drink it. There is more education under this cork than in most college semesters. This is probably the most intelligently-flawed bottle of wine I have ever had. And if you’re going to proffer youth as the culprit, buy 2 bottles and drink one in 5 years. You’ll see.
2020 DUSTY NABOR Syrah Kimsey Vyd Ballard Cyn Santa Ynez Valley Santa Barbara Co. 13.0