Wow – Can’t believe it’s been five years since the last bottle. Life goes by fast, but this wine is aging like a friggin' champ! Nose: Deep blackberry/blueberry – tons of meat and bacon and BBQ sauce and black pepper and paprika – this is great. Palate: Tannins still dry but a bit rounded around the edges. Medium acidity, just enough to keep the mouth watering. Frying bacon, smoked meat, mushrooms glazed in balsamic, hay in a barn, vegetable garden after the rain, cracked pepper – I could keep riffing, but it’s already ridiculous. This has all sorts of crazy/complex flavors that you can pick out differently as the wine evolves over the course of the evening. Darker, sweeter elements of clove, cedar and mocha are woven in well, and play a tertiary role to the fruit and savory elements. Popped this, decanted it, and grilled some sausages and veggies – life is good, people!
Three years since my last bottle, and this note is for the final remaining bottle I had in the cellar. I am fond of this wine, as I have so many good memories of the vineyard and the Macks, who used to live on and own the property. Moving forward, also seeing a close friend of mine now get fruit from the same plot, for Steve's Riverain wines. I opened this bottle y/day, so about a day ago. This is a bit more old era for me, as it drinks a bit bigger than the syrahs I pursue these days, yet what Jim Mack seemed to figure out well even back in that era of 5-6 years ago, and even in the vintage of 2007 which can tend to be bigger, was that he never let the wines get big. He consistently pulled back the oak and bumped up the whole cluster, what I recall was a pretty strong 30/30 approach. In tasting this wine, labeled at 14.1%, there is some frame here, which can be seen in the wine's dark color and to an extent, the darker fruit tones of blackberry. Aromatics of brewed coffee, potpourri, olive. And with what Michael Browne and Jim did so well, they didn't lose sight of the acidity and even some red fruit tones. There is dark chocolate here, licorice and some good lingering structure, all in the finish. The wine does warm as it travels down the palate and the 14+ alc does register after 2 glasses but it's reigned in enough to work. I suspect this wine will go longer and for my palate it should peak in 2016 and with the larger fruit tones, I'd not wait past that point.
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(Jemrose Syrah Cardiac Hill Bennett Valley) Deep black fruit, smoky, bacon fat nose; tasty, bacon fat, black fruit, roasted black fruit palate; medium-plus finish (30% whole cluster, 5 clones, 20% new French oak)