Another Russian River vineyard, the 2005 Syrah Walker Vine Hill, which creeps up toward 15% alcohol, is 100% Syrah, with beautiful blackberry, white chocolate, and blueberry notes intermixed with some graphite and lavender. The wine is full-bodied, almost inky in the mouth, with sensational richness, voluptuous texture, and a stunningly long finish. This is a brilliant Syrah to drink over the next decade or more. Exciting wines seem to emerge annually from Pax Mahle, a self-trained winemaker (and all the better for it), and owner Joe Donelan. The 2005s are just hitting the shelf, and there are some sensational ones for sure. (RP)
Opaque purple. Sexy blackberry, mulberry and candied licorice aromas, with a gentle graphite accent. Silky in texture, displaying a full array of sweet dark berry flavors and outstanding depth and focus. Very fine tannins add support to this extroverted bundle of fresh fruit, with tangier red berry notes coming on with air. The fruit carries impressively through the bright, seamless finish. This is the highest in alcohol of this year's releases at 14.8%. (ST)
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