In the glass, the 2017 is richer, sweeter and more immediate than the much darker and more brooding 2016, with a distinct red fruit character. Best of all, it will drink well upon release. All things considered, Pax Mahle turned out a brilliant Syrah in 2017 and my guess is that less extreme vintages will provide an opportunity for him to match the 2016 – which, in my view, remains his best wine ever. Vineyard sites are Walker Vine Hill, Nellessen Vineyard, Castelli-Knight Ranch and Griffin's Lair. (AG)
Reminding me of a san soufre Saint Joseph, the 2017 Syrah Sonoma-Hillsides is all Syrah that was sourced from the Castelli-Knight, Griffins Lair, Walker Viney Hill, and Nellessen Vineyards, saw no destemming, and spent a short ten months in concrete tanks before bottling. This juicy, lively effort offers lots of blue fruits, violets, leafy green herbs, and some leesy notes in a medium to full-bodied, rounded, charming effort that has good acidity. It's forward and ready to go, and given the wild, slightly natural vibe, I suspect best enjoyed over the coming 4-6 years.
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