Medium garnet and not staining with bright purple edges. Deep and brooding grapey bouquet of sweet cassis and dense, rich black cherry fruit. Clean and richly fruited with sharp notes of spice omnipresent. Entry continues the same theme–very opulent and smartly dressed. Just so CLEAN and balanced, and the cinnamon, nutmeg nose see-saws against the rich oak. Amazingly fruited, while a tad fat over the middle. A bit salty. Screams SUPERFICIAL but at the same time you kinda can not help but like it. I’m thinking far North of 15%, but my guess of 16-oh is really based on mouth-feel and not in anything overtly present in the nose or taste. Bright and lovely, while at the same time so overly ripe and concentrated–but balanced–you can’t help but not like it. Tannins are basically non-existent–just a fading harshness punctuated with rich fruit headed toward pruniness. I fully expected to like this wine considerably less. So much for pre-disposed opinions. I wouldn’t keep too many of these in your cellar, just enjoy it now for what it is. A fat, ripe, moderately Mourvedre-inspired Syrah with a trendy front label. A considerable juxtaposition of a wine–not my style, but few flaws. A highly beneficial experiment. So weird to contrast this Paso stuff against solid Santa Barbara County offerings. This one pales, I’m sorry… and smacks of that whole troublesome Paso *thing*. To each their own. 15-9 and ♦
24hr Vac-U-Vin edit: Held up surprising well. Really no significant change to speak of. Deeper oak and more refined earthiness–a certain steelyness. Still balanced and quite nice–but in a huge way.