Alban Basin

Regular readers know I am a big fan of basically everything this producer does, and this little non-vineyard-designate SCM is just bangin for the money. Big meaty nose, mired in smoke and chunky briar, the fruit a powerful wallop of concentrated blackberry and chocolate-infused vegetal. Black loamy funk hits hard, distilling all that jam into Northern Rhone splendor.

In the mouth, near-perfect balance between lush floral lily and spritely acid etching the stain of teeth-wiping black cherry, currant and blueberry onto all surfaces. It makes serious nods to Cote Rotie and St. Joseph throughout the experience, though California sunshine definitely plays a part. It muddles into the finish where tannin and barnyard truly shine for a thin, fruity, minutes-long revelation. Years to go on this so find it and stock up. Only a couple dollars more than their HOMESTEAD blend and serious bang-for-the-buck in the 30-dollar Syrah sweepstakes.

2017 BIG BASIN VINEYARDS SY/VG 98/2 Santa Cruz Mts. California 13.8

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