The 2017 Alturas is another stellar wine in this range. Rich and deep in feel, the 2017 has a bit more body than is typical for the Halcón wines, and yet it retains all of the signatures of the house style. Firm tannins wrap around a core of red fruit, licorice, wild flowers, herbs and rose petal. The 2017 is pretty alluring today, but it will be even better in another few years' time, once all the elements have come together a bit more fully. (AG)
The 2017 Syrah 'Alturas' from Halcón Vineyards includes three percent viognier this year, and again saw fifty percent whole clusters utilized. The wine is low octane this year, coming in at 12.7 percent and offering up a complex nose of dark berries, lavender, smoked meats, pepper, sweet stems, a beautifully complex base of soil, just a touch of cedar and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and tightly-knit, with a good core, great transparency, ripe, well-integrated tannins, superb balance and grip and a very long, youthful and promising finish. This is going to age into a beautiful middleweight style of syrah that reminds me very much of some of those great Côte-Rôties from vintages such as 1979, 1985 and 1988. Very refined juice.
The 2017 Syrah Alturas checks in as the normal mix of 97% Syrah and 3% Viognier. Its ruby/plum color is followed by classic Syrah notes of blackberries, wildflowers, ground pepper, and damp earth. Reminding me of a Côte Rôtie from the southern part of the appellation, it has a rounded, elegant texture, fine tannins, and outstanding length. Give bottles 2-3 years.
The 2017 Syrah Alturas was made with 50% whole cluster and co-fermented with 3% Viognier. It was aged in mostly neutral oak, with just one new French 500-liter puncheon for a total of about 10% new oak. Medium to deep ruby-purple, it has a very pretty nose of boysenberry and blueberry preserves, exotic spices and oodles of floral perfume with notions of soil, chocolate, peppered meats, strawberry jam and dried orange peel. Medium to full-bodied, it has a good core of fruits layered with spices and flowers, with a firm frame of grainy tannins and good freshness, finishing long and savory. (EB)
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