More Manton, Please.

Clear, deep garnet with ambering edges–a bit troubling for such a young wine.  Wonderful, intoxicating, New-World Syrah nose with overt burnt-rubber and pipe-tobacco.  Layers of ripe fruit and wilted-floral with polished finesse, fat glycerin, and really smoky oak.  The red-dirt, volcanic soils really shine through on this one, as do the pine and cedar trees surrounding the vineyards.  Breathes out into just a fat, sumptuous bouquet.

Bottle number 2 of my recent visit to the Tehama Country wine-producing area in Manton, CA.  A head-and-shoulders improvement on last night’s bottle.  A little KMBS and healthy alcohol identify this as a small winery with limited lab perfection–a GOOD thing.

The entry is ripe and darkly fruited with balanced acids falling in behind and not-annoying tannins finishing things up.  I keep going back to the nose.  It really is lovely to smell and smell and smell….  The chocolate and spice keep getting stronger as air pulls off some of the initial elements which one is not used to with a fairly steady diet of Carneros, RRV, Dry Creek Valley Syrahs but some of which are quite common in Santa Barbara Syrahs.  Having tasted almost all of the Manton offerings, you can see a common thread in these wines.

Fruit is a bit thin middle-to-finish, but all the amazing nuances leading up to and finishing this wine make me vote this the finest Syrah of the appellation I have tasted to date.  It is positively chewy–but not in a staining, floss-your-teeth way–more in a spicy, chocolate, smoky way.  A little concerned about the color at this young age, but this wine is just hitting its stride and I can see it holding–and polishing–for another decade.  I guessed 14-6 and label indicates 14-7, so all-in-all a very balanced bottle.  Good luck finding it.  Visiting the area is your best chance.  I highly recommend it.

2010 CEDAR CREST VINEYARDS Syrah Tehama Co  14.7

cedarcrestvineyards.com

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