95 Points - rare release
An under-the-radar cult Syrah from Santa Barbara - limited.
95 Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "The 2018 Syrah Bien Nacido is a dark, beguiling beauty. Purplish/black fruit, spice, lavender, licorice and black pepper give the Bien Nacido a distinctly sepia-toned profile. Time in the glass brings out striking Syrah aromatics, but the 2018 remains a brooding, muscular wine with tons of depth and potent tannins that need time to soften."
93 Points Robert Parker: "The 2018 Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard comes from vines in X block planted in 1973 and biodynamically farmed. It has a deep ruby-purple color and a lovely perfume of violets, garrigue and charcuterie with fresh blackcurrant fruit. The palate is grainy, fresh and light on its feet with loads of floral character and a long, lifted finish. 486 cases produced."
...Sashi Moorman is best known for the wines he makes at Stolpman and Evening Land, but the wines from his own Piedrasassi label are just as impressive. I also tasted a few older wines, including the 2003 Syrah, which remains an infant and attests to the ageworthiness of Syrah from selected sites in Santa Barbara County. "
A fantastic red from Bedrock winemaker Morgan-Twain Peterson, one of the hottest young winemakers in California.
90 Points Robert Parker "Best Buy": "A Mediterranean blend of Zinfandel, Carignan, Alicante Bouchet, Syrah and assorted mixed blacks fermented with native yeasts and aged in primarily neutral containers (15% in new French oak), it is a California version of a high-class Cotes du Rhone. Lots of berry fruit intermixed with lavender, pepper and meaty black cherry and black currant flavors emerge from this satisfying, round, expansive, generous red. An outstanding, killer value that should provide pleasure over the next 1-2 years. If there is a better value in California wine, I would like to know about it."
....Morgan Twain-Peterson is one of the most impressive young winemakers I have ever met, and it’s not just because he grew up the son of a famous producer. Making wines at this level requires talent, passion, hard work and a great palate, none of which is easily inherited. Along with Mike Officer of Carlisle, Twain-Peterson is on a mission to rediscover what he calls California’s old-vine “heritage” vineyards. These historic sites planted by California’s early immigrants, often home to unknown field blends, remain some of the most fascinating vineyards in California. Officer and Twain-Peterson were tired of seeing these old sites gobbled up by industrial-scale wineries, so they decided to do something about it. Bravo."
New York Times: "This red blend is a perpetually excellent value from Bedrock Wine Company which makes a wide variety of terrific, unmanipulated wines from old California vineyards. The array of groups includes zinfandel, carignan, syrah and petite sirah, and vintages are mixed as well, a welcome tactic. The result is an easygoing, lively wine that is delicious and versatile. Too often, inexpensive California reds are inflated with oak flavorings and other enhancements intended to imitate the characteristics of more expensive wines. Not this one, and it makes you think about how good these humble wines could be if other producers would permit them the dignity of authenticity."
An amazing value from the South of France - hurry!
95 Points Decanter: "60% Syrah, 40% Grenache. Lovely rich opulent and floral, black berry and plum nose, the palate is big with well layered fruit, attractively firm but soft tannin and hints of oak, a big wine with a lovely finish. *Gold Medal Winner Decanter Asia Wine Awards.*
Robert Parker: "A blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Grenache, the Cotes du Rhone Saint-Esprit is a screaming value. If offers bold black cherry and blueberry fruit aromas, lively fruit flavors, silky tannins and a crisp, lengthy mocha-tinged finish. Drink this fun, bouncy little wine over the next couple of years."