Hartley & Ostini Play With Syrah

I have this recurring nightmare where I am told I can never drink wine again.  There are, however, a tiny handful of wines which–if I were to wake up suddenly allergic to wine–I tell myself I would still buy by the case and just smell and smell and smell.  That is all–just SMELL them forever.  These wines have ALWAYS been older Napa cabs or Aussie Shiraz’s.  I could name three or four.  THIS wine is the closest I have ever come to that feeling in a California Syrah.  The nose on this wine is just so magical.  Ethereal.  Mind-numbingly complex with layers and layers of just perfectly polished fruit, spice, oak and tannin.  I have never stuck my nose in a Syrah before and been blessed with all those crazy things an older Cab can deliver.  A couple Pinot’s have come *close*, but Pinot is a completely different bird requiring a whole sub-set of priorities and desires.  This is Syrah–and not a particularly expensive one.  Just so perfectly rounded and bright balanced with all the edges of everything ground off perfectly into something you put on and this inexplicable ‘oneness’ with everything makes your heart not believe it is possible and at the same time fits perfectly.  Like driving an old BMW.  Or trying on a vintage watch.  And… the taste does not fall short of bouquet-promises.  Vibrant and young.  Full of fruit and life.  Acids and tannin still telling you this is a bottle to be dealt with–and will be for many more years–and at the same time falling into that perfect polish *just* a little age can perform on a fabulous wine.  I’ve opened Penfold’s on my birthday.  And Cornas.  But congratulations Umerica.  Props to the SYV.  Welcome to the club.  14-9 and ♦♦♦

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