A prodigious effort that possesses overflowing richness and depth, the 2008 Syrah The Duel (88% Syrah, 6% Grenache and 6% Viognier, all from the Eleven Confessions Vineyard) delivers an off-the-hook drinking experience with decadent cassis, blackberry, smoked meats, crushed flowers and hints of spice all soaring from the glass. A full-bodied, unctuous Syrah that stays fresh and elegant, with vibrant acidity, it needs a solid decant if drinking anytime soon and will see its 20th birthday in fine form. Drink now-2028. (JD)
The 2008 Syrah The Duel, from Manfred and Elaine Krankl’s Eleven Confessions Vineyard, is also impossibly young, with little in the way of flavor development. I typically enjoy the Sine Qua Non reds either upon release or around age ten, so I probably should have followed my own advice. The 2008 is beautiful, but it will clearly be even better in another few years’ time. This is one of the most reticent bottles of the 2008 I have tasted. (AG)
Glass-staining purple. Flamboyant aromas and flavors of candied black and blue fruits, violet pastille and spicecake. Stains the palate with deep fruit and spice qualities but shows surprising vivacity and clarity, picking up a lavender pastille nuance with air. Finishes sweet and very long, with resonating blue fruit notes and fully absorbed tannins. (JR)
Pure, rich and deeply flavored, this is centered around ripe, restrained plum and blueberry flavors, with touches of spice, cedar, tobacco and crushed rock. Ends with a subtle, detailed aftertaste. Drink now through 2021. (JL)
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