A more eclectic blend of 41% Syrah, 37% Grenache, 18% Mourvedre and 4% Tannat (22 months in 55% new French oak), the 2012 GSM Casual Encounters offers lots of sweet red and black fruits, dried flowers, and savory, peppery, spicy notes in its full-bodied, supple and sexy style. It's ripe and exuberant, but I love its balance. My note finished with "would like to drink a glass." Pulling from a number of sites spread throughout the Central Coast, Herman Story’s Russell From makes unabashedly Californian wines that make the most of the beautiful fruit that makes California so special. These are not for those craving tiny, mid-weight efforts and they have rocking textures, tons of fruit and most importantly, always remain a joy to drink. These are gorgeous wines. (JD)
Dark purple. Powerful aromas of ripe black and blue fruits, licorice, violet and olive paste. A zesty mineral nuance adds vibrancy and cut to the plush blueberry and cassis flavors, with spice and floral notes emerging with air. Surprisingly light on its feet for its heft and breadth. Supple tannins provide shape to the finish, which emphatically repeats the floral and blue fruit notes. (JR)
Bold and full of personality, with distinctive aromas of blackberry, tobacco and tar and concentrated yet well-structured notes of plum, olive and licorice. The flavors linger alongside ripe tannins. Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Tannat. Drink now through 2023. (TF)
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