Deep deep purple ruby with a razor of clear for an edge. Completely glass-staining and substantial legs. Thick green briary nose crammed with weeds, wet bark and frosting; an oil-slick on pond-water, greasy and visceral but smart. Pungent fruit–fresh blueberry and sage, milky green tea and cigar–blends effortlessly with the subtle alcohol.
Sinor makes two Syrahs from the cool-climate Bassi Vineyard in Avila Beach: a White and Black label with at least a full point of alcohol between them. Regular readers of mine will understand I yanked the lower-proof one open first and, quite honestly, was kinda dreading getting to this one. OK, “dreading” is the wrong word. More like: expecting an eye-rolling moment because the concentration and hi-alcohol were going to be so prevalent it would be of a style hard for me to enjoy. I was completely wrong. This is beautiful wine.
In the mouth, chewy, mind-numbingly rich fruit, but not flabby or unctuous. Brilliant acid co-joins everything, bringing that seamless zenith of concentration only a few producers of hi-proof Syrah have mastered. Light cherry is dedicated to the attack and after that, the entire palate is a shell-shocked orgasmic jack-hammer of structure. While the cigar and tar is dripping lingering vestiges of maraschino on the sides of the tongue, the mid-palate is awash with turbulent young tannin, seeking out every crevice in an attempt to hammer this wine home. No alcohol burn, just a tiny pepper against rich, sweet tannin. Yes, sweet tannin. You read that right.
This guy is one of the Central Coast OG, with his hand in a plethora of labels you’ve enjoyed in the past 30 years. Find this stuff.
2014 SINOR-LA VALLEE ‘Black Label’ Syrah Bassi Ranch Avila Beach San Luis Obispo 15.9