A curious wine for the 3 of us who tasted. A beautiful wine that evolved, advanced, regressed, exhibited by tannins, then fruit, then tannins, etc. it was impossible to predict one taste after another. Most times, the aromas were of red fruits, mostly bitter cherry. We tasted over 2 days. The color was red with few syrah characteristics both on the nose and palate. We wanted to like it and we did, but not as a syrah. We opened a 2007 Bedrock Kick Ranch to compare. This needs more time. Lots of dark fruit and classic Syrah road tar, as well as a bit of Brett that blew off. Sweeter than the Rhys and more alcohol. This was coming around as the hours passes, but never shone. Finally, an evidently poorly stored 2003 Guigal brune et blonde, which should be singing and did a few years ago from a different lot. Instead, with this one, the prunes and raisins were giggling within 12 hours.
Syrah comes in several forms. In tonight's form, when I went to the cellar, I wanted something that was on the savory side, lower alc, cool climate, and I was apprehensive to some degree when I saw some of the other notes in CT. For sure, when the wine was first opened, it was kind of lean, bland. This needed 2 hours of air to add some flesh, and with the 2nd glass tonight, that air helps to give it some intensity. There is some olive here, some game, sour cherry/blueberry and savory. These markers can turn off some syrah drinkers, depending on what end of the spectrum one finds their syrah palate. Those flavors are here and even in the finish, solid acidity and some chalk. So, from the standpoint of open and pour, this is not recommended...with the added day of air, this really reminds me a lot of the Wind Gap syrahs, all of the savory, saline and red fruits in a medium weight package. This is distinctive in style and it's going to miss the mark with some and I suspect there will be a camp that truly dislikes this wine, yet for me it's sincere, cool climate, cluster driven syrah. As to a drink window, hmmm. As much as I like acid and structure, with air this to me drinks well and really loosened up so I don't see any reason against enjoying now, although I do think the wine can sit another 3-4 years and be just fine.
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(Rhys Syrah Skyline Vineyard) Barrel sample - dark black red violet color; lavender, subtle green herb, baked plum nose; tasty, rich, baked berry, black fruit, poised, plum palate with rather a diffuse finish at the moment; medium-plus finish 93-95 pts. (100% whole cluster; less than 10% new French oak)
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