Big Basin’s 2010 Homestead is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. Violets, black cherries, plums, menthol and tar are some of the many notes that develop in the glass. This is a pretty, mid-weight Rhone blend that shows the freshness of the year. I very much like the understated fleshiness here. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2015. I tasted a bevy of gorgeous wines with proprietor Bradley Brown this year. These new and upcoming releases are impeccable and strongly suggest Brown is one of the up and coming stars of the region. I can hardly wait to see how his wines develop in the future. Most of the 2010 Pinots were harvested during the first week of October, on the late side that year. The wines spent 16 months in French oak, between roughly 40-60% new. The 2009 Syrahs were picked during a broad window that started in early October and lasted much of the month. Brown gave his 2009 Syrahs about 27 months in French oak, from 50-86% new. I also tasted a number of wines from barrel, most of them 2010 Syrahs and Syrah-blends. Today, those wines are very promising, as the cold 2010 vintage seems to have brought out the maximum in varietal definition and nuance.
(made from 37% grenache, 36% syrah and 27% mourvedre): Bright purple. Vibrant dark berry aromas are complicated by tobacco, smoked meat and pungent flowers. Bitter cherry and vanilla flavors are firmed by tangy minerality, which adds back-end lift. Finishes on a spicy note, with supple tannins and a hint of candied violet.
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