Tasted single blind in a mixed new/old world flight. Clearly new world in comparison to the Cote Rotie and Hermitage in the flight, and very true to form/site for Castelli-Knight. A lovely smoky, peppery Syrah. The rich, cool black fruit is made complex by cool climate Syrah notes of olive, cracked pepper and smoked meat. No rush on these, as I think the fruit and structure are aging in unison, though I don't suspect the wines get any better, so drink all you want now. Won't be mistaken for Northern Rhone, but hits all the right notes.
The Rotating Dinners, Vol. 5: Blinds from Around the World (Chicago, IL): Served double blind in a flight of syrah. Others liked this significantly more than I did. To me, this is slightly-over-the-top and too sweet for syrah -- it lacks most of the saline and smoke elements that I prefer. The fruit is inky black and quite frankly, this is just not a very subtle wine. Very much in-your-face, this wine just couldn't stand up to the Levet and Chave next to it.
Gorgeous, full nose is exotic and layered with Northern Rhone goodness -- black olives, cracked black pepper, smoked meat -- that is interwoven with savory, substantial black fruit. Palate has medium-to-full body of polished, exuberant fruit. Medium acidity, but there is a definite tanginess that keeps this wine fresh and gliding across the palate. Flavors echo the nose. 11 years old, but drinking youthfully. Terrific stuff -- my favorite Pax vineyard as it struts the old world complexity with new world fruit.
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