Readers who love Rhone-styled wines must get on Sine Qua Non's mailing list in order to have a chance of latching onto a few bottles of the following vinous treasure. The 1995 The Other Hand is made from 100% Syrah grown in the Alban, Bien Nacido, and Stolpman vineyards, situated respectively in Edna Valley, Santa Maria, and Los Olivos. Aged 18 months in oak, of which 70% is new, this blockbuster, opaque purple-colored wine offers glorious notes of black fruits (primarily blackberry and cassis), subtle smoke, toast, and licorice, and a whiff of plant material and spice. Full-bodied, yet gorgeously layered and nearly seamless in its flamboyant display of fruit, glycerin, and extract, this large-scaled, yet drinkable Syrah will benefit from another 5-6 years in the bottle, but it is already accessible. It is another example of why I think wineries in this region should be ripping out their Pinot Noir vines and re-planting with Syrah! Look for this super Syrah to age effortlessly for 15 or more years. (RP)
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