From a cooler, difficult vintage and all Syrah from the Torrin estate vineyard, the 2011 Akasha reminds me of a great vintage of Guigal’s Côte Rôtie la Torque with its meaty, smoky nose of ripe black fruits, bacon fat, and olive tapenade. With full body, awesome depth of fruit, and a layered, pure, seamless style, it’s quite possibly the wine of the vintage in California. It’s drinking nicely today, yet has another 15-20 years ahead of it.
The 2011 Akasha is another beautiful effort in the vintage. Made from 100% Syrah and aged in 55% new French oak, it comes from cooler, east- and north-facing plots, and harvest was on November 4th, two weeks later than in 2010. Its deep purple color is followed by loads of cassis and blackberry-styled fruit, ground pepper, licorice and baking spice, and it hits the palate with a full-bodied, lightly textured and graceful feel. Carrying plenty of savory tannin, solid mid-palate depth and a brilliant length on the finish, it too will benefit from short-term cellaring and have over a decade of longevity. Made by Scott Hawley, these are classic Paso blends that never lack for fruit or texture, yet always back it up with superb underlying structure. (JD)
Inky purple. Spicy cassis and cherry-cola on the nose, with pungent floral and Indian spice qualities adding an exotic twist. Sweet dark berry preserve and violet pastille flavors show excellent depth, with a bright spicy quality emerging with air. A surprisingly elegant wine for all its size, finishing silky, sweet and very long. (JR)
The 2010 Akasha (Syrah) shows the Torrin style at its very best. Varietal aromas and flavors are beautifully delineated in a wine of notable complexity and vibrancy. Dark red berries, flowers, mint and spices flesh out nicely in the glass as the wine retains gorgeous freshness to balance its natural intensity. A rich, textured wine endowed with considerable appeal, the 2010 should drink nicely for at least a handful of years. This is a great showing from Torrin and Scott Hawley. (AG)
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