If Dinosaurs were Birds, Syrah is Pinot Noir.

Deep dark ruby with purple edges and somewhat staining.  Extreme funkiness upon opening.  Sweet horse-stall and fresh fish-market blows off gradually with generous aeration.   Decanted.  Each settles down into wonderful barnyard and ocean-air revealing a Ben-Gay minty note riding on dark, ripe cherry fruit, wet leather, loam and cassis.  This thing definitely needs some air.  A bit tight and meager initially, but gradually blossoms into surprising concentration–but not bright, fresh fruit, it is sweaty, brooding fruit with heavy black eyeliner.  Then again, I’m listening to Franke Potente on The Princess and the Warrior soundtrack and it matches this wine perfectly and quite possibly is affecting my perception.

The quite fat and warm cloaking of the fruit on the tongue troubles me a bit–and I keep going back in my memory to the 2007, even though the fruit is from different sources.  This one does comes off fat and alcoholic and meager–there’s just no way around it.  I believe this is Whitehawk–a favorite Syrah source of mine in Los Alamos.  Thin over the middle and into the finish of sharp, burnt tannin.  There’s no fruit after entry.  It’s just not there.  Still, it is definitely in the nose and entry, and I have seen wines like this polish into superb bottles headed into a decade.  I wouldn’t put a whole lot of faith in it though.  Enjoy it for what it is now.  It is a great price-point and proves to me this winemaker is capable of more than rich, huge, expensive PN’s (Riverbench) or thin, nuanced, entry-level PN’s (Nagy) and totally *gets* Syrah.  I can’t wait to taste the next one.

2010 NAGY Syrah Whitehawk Vineyard Santa Barbara Co 14.5

www.nagywines.com

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