Aromas of fresh leather and blueberries with hints of licorice. Full-bodied, with firm tannins and a long finish. Intense black pepper and spice. Great finish on this. Amazing complexity. Like 1978 or 1961 La Chapelle. Amazing. This will improve for decades.
About as good as it gets across the board, these singular, incredible wines are the result of an obsessive attention to detail at all stages of the wine making process. There is no secret or hidden magic going on here. The incredibly talented and down-to-earth Manfred Krankl simply walks the walk as opposed to only talking about attention to detail or offering up the standard, wine is made in the vineyard comments. Looking at the vintages focused on here, 2009 has produced a decadent, voluptuous style that offers up thrilling levels of fruit as well as an approachable, heady richness that-s hard to resist. While they possess ample depth and structure, I would drink these before either the 2010s or 2011s. The 2010s here are stunning and have everything; gorgeous fruit, awesome concentration and incredible purity. While the most age-worthy of the recent vintages, they're a spectacular drink even today. The 2011s, which were all tasted out of barrel, have additional freshness and focus over the 2010s. They have solid concentration and overall balanced profiles that should allow them to cruise in the cellar. (JD)
The 2007 Syrah Dangerous Birds, from Eleven Confessions, includes 4.5% Grenache and 2.5% Viognier, all fully destemmed. It is a seamless, show stopper of the highest level. The fruit is decidedly opulent in the 2007, while the high percentage of new oak barrels (84%) contributes to the wine's shape and volume. An impeccable, eternal finish rounds things out in style. (AG)
A knockout Syrah that contains 4% Grenache and 2% Viognier in the blend, the 2007 Sine Qua Non Syrah Dangerous Birds is exceedingly dense and rich, with full-throttle aromas of blackberry liqueur, plum, licorice, and mineral aromas and flavors flowing to a full-bodied, voluptuous, and creamily texture wine. Surprisingly tight, this slowly unwinds in the glass, and despite the extended barrel aging, shows incredible purity of fruit, no hint of oak, and a light, elegant texture. This has a long life ahead of it, but given the texture and richness, it’s certainly sublime now as well. If drinking anytime soon, it needs a multi-hour stint in a decanter.
Dark purple. Powerful blackberry and cassis fruit aromas are complicated by licorice, woodsmoke and exotic Asian spices. Juicy, concentrated and sharply focused, with impressive intensity to its pure dark berry and spice flavors. This very youthful, densely packed wine manages to be both broad and light on its feet, with outstanding clarity and appealing spiciness. Finishes with lovely lingering florality and mineral-driven persistence. (JR)
Starts out sleek and elegant, with a subtle mix of charcoal, smoke, dried berry, mocha, coconut and pomegranate flavors that are at times explosive yet restrained, leading to a long, rather amazing finish. (JL)
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2013 Solomon Hills "Solomon Hills Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay (Previously $40)