A totally brilliant Syrah that's reminiscent of a top Côte Brune with its mix of iron, black pepper, violets, and game, the 2009 Rhys Syrah Horseshoe Vineyard starts out dense and tight, but slowly unwinds over the evening to show a firm, yet elegant texture, beautifully integrated acidity, and a classically structured and tannic finish. Despite the slightly masculine profile and structure, this has the fruit to handle it. Give bottles 2-4 years in the cellar and then drink over the following decade or longer. Lovers of Syrah should not miss this beauty and it would stand toe to toe with anything coming out of California or France.
The 2009 Syrah Horseshoe Vineyard opens with black pepper, game, creme de cassis and white flowers. Blackberries and blueberries appear later, adding further complexity on the finish. This is a decidedly cold-weather, angular Syrah that needs time in the bottle for some of the contours to soften. (AG)
Bright purple. Blackberry, cherry and pungent spices on the powerfully scented nose. Sappy and palate-staining, offering potent, impressively deep dark fruit and violet pastille flavors. Surprisingly lithe and silky in texture for all its power. Turns spicier with air and finishes bright, floral and very long. (ST)
Horseshoe Ranch Vineyard has great terroir, which is easily ascertained by the beautiful pinot noirs that hail from this site, but this is still a young vineyard that was only planted in 2004 and the syrahs may need a bit more time to show off all the class of this locale that is already so evident in the pinots from Horseshoe. That said, the 2009 Horseshoe syrah is excellent, as it offers up a very classy nose of cassis, pepper, bitter chocolate, incipient notes of venison, stony minerality and a touch of cedar. On the palate the wine is deep, fullish and intensely flavored, with tangy acids, ripe tannins and very fine length and grip on the focused and fairly structured finish. This is decidedly less ripe than the 13.9 percent of the 2008 Horseshoe syrah, weighing in at 12.8 percent in 2009, and it delivers decidedly more precision and nascent complexity as a result. Fine juice. (Drink between 2017-2035)
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