Cherry Bomb Squad

IMG_20160823_191735Dark crystal ruby with almost no edge.  You know this is going to be a whopper the second you stick your nose into it: THE richest darkest, most concentrated, sharp and vibrant mineralific jam-pot in some memory.  But–unlike some local rich, concentrated jam-pots–it doesn’t have a flabby, pond-water feeling OR a grainy purple stand-a-fork-up-in-it young thickness.  Instead it is layered in floral and spice, elegant and mature, calm and confident in its decadence.  Salsa of grilled peppers, walnut salad with a balsamic reduction drizzled over crisp pears.  Grandma’s Concord grape jelly on steaming baguette crusts. Figs and hard cheeses and wet slate.  When I saw Santa Cruz Mountains on this thing I HAD to have it.  I typically don’t think of ‘SCM’ and ‘Syrah’ in the same sentence, but love the appellation so much I was anxious to get a place-mark on this variety.  While I could smell it all day long, I gotta taste this thing!  In the mouth, nearly unapproachable.  All that fruit is tucked away behind a WALL of structure SO impenetrable, your tongue goes reeling.  Visceral and raw, burnt rubber and smoky tar, BBQ back-fat and cherry cherry cherry OMG so much black cherry.  The substantial acid actually seems like a lean middle for a split second before the finish kicks in, monstrously obliterating everything in a steam-roller blackened earth programme that will leave you desperately tonguing your teeth.  I keep going back to the nose:  There’s this delicate funk so Rhone-like which dances around and probably produces my earlier *elegant* and *mature* proclamations.  There’s just so much going on in this wine.  I am so SICK of one-dimensional Syrahs, and believe me, there’s a ton of them out there–and for large money.  Don’t let *big* get in your way of finding well-nuanced Syrahs.  There’s nothing wrong with liking BIG Syrahs–just make sure they have something going on in them.  Like THIS ONE does.  Sweet candied mint, caramel cigar-smoke and more cherry and a CATHEDRAL of tannin. This thing is in it for the long run, so buy a case and drink one a year–if you can keep your hands off it.  So glad I found this wine.
2013 BIG BASIN Syrah Santa Cruz Mountains 14.5
http://www.bigbasinvineyards.comc

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