The 2016 Syrah Griffin's Lair Vineyard is a beautifully polished, nuanced wine that captures the personality of this Petaluma Gap site so well. Lavender, spice, leather, black pepper, licorice and dried flowers are all nicely woven together in this sleek, nuanced Syrah from Desire Lines. (AG)
The two Desire Lines Syrahs tag this tiny producer
as a winery definitely worth watching, and, while both are very
good efforts that are incisively spicy and marvelously vital that
exhibit careful crafting and great persistence, this one gets the nod
as our favorite by dint of its ever-so-slightly deeper fruit. It is
so nicely composed that it is presently a little too easy to like, but
this is a wine that is well worth the investiture of patience, and
we see it only getting better and better as the next five or six
years come and go.
Desire lines are the paths carved by locals, also known as cow paths or kemonomichi—unofficial waypaths. From the winery: "In 2016 the ripening window had been longer thanks to more mild temperatures in late August and early September, and so we decided to pick just before the heat to showcase the purity of the vintage. Like the 2015, the 2016 Griffin's Lair Syrah was fermented with 50% whole cluster, with a submerged cap for the first half of fermentation and raised in neutral large format barrels for 15 months before bottling without fining or filtration. The 2016 is a bit more red-fruited than the 2015, especially after a decant; both strut the bacon, olive tapenade, and black tea that practically shout Griffin’s Lair!"
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