Inky purple. A seductively perfumed bouquet displays black raspberry, boysenberry, potpourri and Asian spices. Silky red and dark berry preserve flavors show liqueur-like depth and sweetness, with a spine of bright acidity adding energy and lift. Supple tannins give support and focus to an impressively long, pure and penetrating finish. A striking combination of power and finesse.
While stylistically playing in the same ballpark, the 2010 Skyline Vineyard is decidedly different and shows a sweeter core or fruit, as well as a touch more depth and texture. Taking the better part of the evening to open up, and even better on the second day, it offers up a layered profile (almost Cornas like actually) with gamey black raspberry, cranberry, white and black pepper, crushed flowers, hints of chocolate, and loads of minerality on the nose. Fleshy, rich, and on the fuller side of medium-bodied on the palate, it is gorgeously put together and has a concentrated mid-palate, racy, yet integrated acidity, and loads of length. While it drinks reasonably well now, it deserves 2-3 years of bottle age and will age gracefully for 8-10 years or more.
Layers of dark red fruit, mint, fennel, tar and leather are finely spun in a pretty, expressive Syrah loaded with personality. I can't wait to taste this again with a little more bottle age. The 2010 was made with 100% whole clusters. Malolactic fermentation took place in tank and the wine was subsequently aged in neutral oak barrels.
2017 Samuel Louis Smith "Sandstone Terrace" Santa Cruz Mountains Syrah (Previously $30)
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