Clear light ruby with no edge. Wonderful green stemmy briarific nose framed by wet charcoal and blueberry skins. Luscious fruit does not flow out of it in tourist-wine style, but its intensity is cloaked with generous minerality and a banana-skin acid roundness. I’m feeling this is fairly low alcohol (for the variety and the area!), maybe 13-9 tops. A good decant fluffs up the earthiness and plumps up the fruit a tad–showing how unimaginably young this wine is–but nothing ever approaches the plethora of Santa Ynez Valley Syrah offerings you can stand a fork up in. Steely focus on bright pure fruit anchored in pure clean earth is this one’s modus operandi and it never strays from it.
In the mouth, an instant wash of vanilla briefly precedes the entrance of all that bright fruit in the bouquet. Again, nothing over-powering or miserably concentrated, just clean bright raspberry fruit tightly bound in sweet Granny Smith acidity, like honey stirred into cold black tea. The finish is refreshingly watery–round and crisp and refreshing–not bogged down with the reduction and extra point of alcohol contained in most of the offerings I see. Spicy tannins–edged on all sides by the non-stop young fruit–tell a balanced story. This wine is–in a word–refreshing. I so enjoy seeing and sampling the growing group of vintners in Santa Barabara County who have dedicated themselves to clean, clear, dinstict wines: food friendly and not the concentrated stew of extraction so many local *meal-in-a-bottle* wines are famous for. At the same time, this wine is not “green” or “weird”, awkwardly nuanced or *hipster-sommy*. It is full round REAL wine. Wine I would highly recommend finding. It’s just flat-out wonderful Syrah.
2014 SECTION Syrah ‘The Chieftain Lots’ Santa Ynez Valley Santa Barbara Co 14.0