The 2011 Syrah Papa’s Block is endowed with serious grip and tension. Dark raspberries, savory herbs, crushed flowers and stems are all very much present in the glass. At this stage, the whole clusters (32%) still need time to integrate, but all the aromas and flavors are vivid and beautifully articulated throughout. Fresh, floral notes add lift on the finish, while the firm tannins provide the underlying architecture. The Papa’s Block is highly compelling, but it won’t be ready to drink for at least a few years. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2026. (AG)
Opaque ruby. Captivating, high-toned bouquet evokes fresh black and blue fruits, pungent herbs, smoky minerals and notes of clove, cola and black cardamom. Supple, fine-grained and seductively sweet, with a velvety texture and intense, spice-accented blueberry and cassis flavors. Harmonious tannins make a late appearance on the pliant, clinging finish. A sexy, complex syrah, with great upfront appeal. Officer told me that even though this fruit hung through the heavy early October rains the loose clusters prevented botrytis, as did open canopies. (ST)
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