The 2008 Lillian Winery Syrah is an incredibly youthful, slightly backwards Syrah that needs a fair bit of air to show at its best. Opening up to show intense notes of black and blue fruits, damp earth, leafy herbs, and hints of peppered beef on the nose, the wine is medium to full-bodied on the palate and beautifully light on its feet. Balanced, rich, and concentrated, with nothing out of place and sound structure and integrated acidity, this should be given 4-5 years of bottle age, and then consumed over the following decade. While less rich and intense than the '07 at this age, this should age for just as long. (JebDunnuck.com) 94+
Glass-staining purple. Deeply pitched aromas of black and blue fruits, incense, olive tapenade and fruitcake, with smoke and violet notes gaining power with air. Rich and broad but almost shockingly energetic, offering sweet, liqueur-like blackberry and boysenberry flavors and exotic spice and floral pastille qualities. Intense and focused on the extremely long finish, which strongly repeats the floral and spice notes. I had the chance to retaste the 2007 Lillian this fall, and while it appears to have closed down a bit since this time last year, it is still a complex, compelling and extremely alluring wine. As rich as it is, it doesn't come off as overblown or overtly decadent. (JR)
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2013 Solomon Hills "Solomon Hills Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay (Previously $40)