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91 Points

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - 91+ Points. Honestly, this wine was a real trip and very enigmatic in the glass. Serially tasted over about 3 hours with ever-changing characteristics and seriously dynamic fruit characteristics. My view is that this is a quality wine that is not quite resolved in the bottle. There's a power struggle here between the Syrah and Grenache that feels like a constant wrestling match. At this point neither grape is quite complementary to one another and until the Grenache takes a back-seat with bottle age the only real enjoyment of the wine will come as an academic exercise.

At first pour the wine is intensely "grapey" on the nose with some pleasing meat/animal notes behind it. On the palate the wine the Syrah is very dominant with intensely dark fruit, dusty gravel, graphite and a fine limestone sinew running throughout. Clearly very primary, the fruit can't seem to get out of its own way and pushes off some of the secondary characteristics that seem to be lurking on the midpalate. With some additional aeration the fruit takes on a very wild character that speaks of both ripe blackberry and raspberry. The wine touches briefly touches on some baking spice notes but the wine is a bit brawny to show any sophistication.

Over time the wine evolves in a somewhat unstable way. Fruit notes drift back and forth between wildberries, blackberry, grape, black currant, raspberry, red currant and black cherry. On the mid-palate the gravel notes came and went along with characteristics of limestone, graphite/iron, faint notes of licorice, cola spices, thyme and oregano (never got to "garrigue" for me which is far more distinctive). With extensive aeration there were also some notes that were difficult for me to decipher on the palate. My best approximation is oil cured black olive but at that point many of the characteristics weren't quite delineated.

My perspective is that this is a quality wine with lots of potential but isn't quite "there" yet. It's overly primary at the moment and it needs some bottle age before it comes together in a harmonious way. It's too disjointed and suffers from a lack of focus. At the same time, it has a fine textural elegance that speaks to a finer, more sophisticated wine. There's enough acid here to keep it fresh and a vein of limestone that helps lift it from being too heavy on the palate. An intriguing wine that could be going places. I would give it another 2 years for the Grenache and Syrah to come together in a more harmonious way. Possibly a much better wine with maturation, right now though it comes across as an angst-ridden teenager.

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3 comments have been posted

  • Comment posted by pete s.:

    1/23/2013 10:37:00 AM - Great note...couldn't have put it better.

  • Comment posted by PrometheanFire:

    1/23/2013 11:16:00 AM - Great tasting note, very enjoayable read and perfectly reflecting the thoughts I had with my first bottle a couple of weeks ago. Will keep the rest of the case on lockdown for probably another 2 years before I'll try to approach again. Keep up the good work!

  • Comment posted by Redguy:

    1/23/2013 12:43:00 PM - That is a seriously well thought out and constructed tasting note. I've got a case maturing in off-site storage so I found this most helpful... thank you.

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