I Heart Second Labels

Black, inky garnet, visible sed, with amber edges.  Lovely sweet cedar-bark, buttered-toast bouquet with high notes of celery stalk and red raspberry–all with a touch of polished ever-so-slight portiness.   This is a ‘second label’ from Gary Gibson and the little brother from his now-defunct Shadow Canyon label and winery.   Entry far lighter than expected from color and nose, but still significant fruit… just… definitely… fading.  Ripe and round but middle acids and tannin take over and quell any residue of fruit.  Finish decidedly ‘bitter’.  I hate to use such a simplistic descriptor, but I really can find nothing other to convey what is really happening to this wine.  It fades into just plain bitterness–not the long polished deeply tannic finish one would hope for in a Syrah knocking on teenage years, but rather represents a wine which was probably not designed to linger in the cellar quite this long and who’s up-front fruit just has not held up to the columns of burnt-rubber, wet-leather Syrah backbone I remember–and still see remnants of.  It is not a *bad* wine.  It is not maderized or oxidized or flabby–quite the opposite–and is entirely drinkable and enjoyable–just a little heavy on the back-end.  I have several more of these and must make a note to visit again soon, before what fruit remains fades into oblivion.  I think the original PP on these was around 25$–and about half that of the fabulous Shadow Canyon offerings.  Would be very curious to know if there were a remainder of fruit sourced for this ‘Central Coast’ second label other than Paso Robles.  If I had to guess I would say maybe Edna, or even SMV.  Los Alamos?  Most likely the ‘Central Coast’ is merely a marketing diversion to not water down the Shadow Canyon brand.  I am totally enjoying this bottle–just hoping it is an ‘off’ one–and the trip down Memory Lane.  Since I already constantly rant about hi-AL wines not aging well past a decade, am gonna just keep my mouth shut.

2004 DE LA VIGNE Syrah Central Coast  14.8

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