Perfect garnet with a little sediment. Heady ripe with nauseating dark floral–stemmy brier tempers the burnt rubber, never allowing it to settle down into flabbiness. A high sarsaparilla note, grown in the cracks of straight soft rock, combine for a smoky petrichor you can’t take your nose out of. New car and clean straw make a willing backdrop for the fast-emerging fruit. Gentle decanting brings out more of the tobacco and vanilla. A sweet Eucalyptus clean-ness presides over the entire bouquet.
I picked this up at Carr Winery recently. They make it from and for the vineyard source in Carpenteria, high above the ocean on a hillside well above most of the fog. A strange area for vines, yes. But a micro-bottling I would easily put in the best 5 or 10 Santa Barbara County Syrahs.
In the mouth, that mint-euc grabs traction early, directing itself straight into clean beautiful fruit, spicy and delicate–complimenting all the floral this thing cranks out–and still leaving no question it is in the room and ripe and not going anywhere. It invades every nook of your mouth, stacking itself against the roof and sides on platforms of stable acid. A little more of that lovely clean-straw barnyard drifts in late-middle, tying everything down to the earth and preventing the fruit-bomb from fully detonating. Bitter, green, slightly hot tannins edge in through the cracks, never quite managing to kiss all that fruit good-bye.
A very intelligent Syrah, balanced and wonderful, heading into Pinot-territory–AS SYRAH SHOULD–in several places but never letting us forget it is a slightly sluttier variety. A thinking-person’s Syrah–and a great stepping-stone for those looking to graduate from the thick, viscous tourist-Rhones of Santa Barbara County into something more akin to Sonoma Coast or Mendocino. This wine IS gravitas with design.
2008 PAREDON Syrah Santa Barbara County 14.2