Bright bright ruby with pink edges. Great little crushed-stem and fresh bread on the nose with a certain amount of old-world funk, old-lady perfume and deep brooding blackberry fruit lurking. Considerable oak.
Santa Barbara Winery was on of my first discoveries and love affairs when I moved to the Central Coast 15 years ago. I was blown away by their value and quality but the “Reserve” LaFond offerings were a little out of my price-range at the time. I feel like there was only Pinot Noir and Chardonnay under the LaFond label at the time and both were in the ASTONISHING $30+ price-point haha. This Syrah I picked up at a local grocery for around 20 bucks the other day and it definitely is a well-made, well-fruited bottle with just enough entry-level ease to keep the n00b happy and just enough concentration and pure Syrah nuance to keep a wonk intrigued. Elegant and polished, with stuffing to make you sit up and notice.
In the mouth, the fruit thins out considerably in the face of fairly brutal acid and tannin. A watery, somewhat bitter finish reminds you not to take it too seriously but all things considered you could do FAR worse for $20. If you insist on massive extracted wines, this will convince you of subtle sophistication. My first instinct is to think it should settle down for a few more years–and the fruit in the nose votes this way–but honestly I am torn on enough concentration to merit aging. Enjoy it now–it is a VERY enjoyable wine–and at this price, setting a few aside will reward over the next 5 years–if you can keep your hands off them. 14-7 and not a sign of it anywhere. A very nice little wine which wants to be somewhat greater and I am giving this a *HIGHLY-recommended*. Finding a few of these would really be doing yourself a favor.
2011 LAFOND Syrah Santa Rita Hills Santa Barbara Co 14.7