Jeff Cohn's 2011 Rockpile Syrahs are proof enough that very rich, highly ripened and well-structured wines can be found from this difficult vintage, and that the path to success does not depend on low alcohol and restraint. The Buffalo Hill bottling is very arguably the deepest and most expressive of his three, and it is rife with spice, brimming with fruit and is in all ways a Syrah that is not afraid of saying its name. It is a big and very powerful wine, and it is one that is clearly not yet ready for prime time enjoyment, but it can be confidently cellared away for the four to eight years that it needs to come into its own, and it should last for much longer.
Inky purple. Heady, smoke-tinged black and blue fruit liqueur aromas are deepened by notes of licorice, espresso and candied violet. Pliant and sweet, with intense cassis and bitter cherry flavors that become sweeter and spicier with air. Really stains the palate while coming off energetic and focused. Finishes with resonating spiciness, supple tannins and excellent persistence. There's a hefty 15.2% alcohol happening here, but the wine wears it gracefully. (JR)
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