2016 Estate Syrah - Spear Vineyards & Winery

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Crunchy boysenberry, black tea leaves, wild blueberry. Dark cherry, meat smoke, chopped fig. Dried thyme and rosemary, cedar and wilted violet. Clusters of barely-ripe hand picked blackberries just pulled from briary chaparral and then dusted with ground coffee, fennel, and anise. Salt lick stymied by licorice and bitter chocolate. Lightweight and lean yet bursting at the seams with effortless expressiveness. This 2016 Estate Syrah by Spear Vineyards & Winery is intellectual, balanced, and delicious.

While the Santa Rita Hills appellation of Santa Barbara California is primarily known for the production of high quality Pinot Noir, Syrah has gained a firm foothold as the second most successful red wine grape in the region. Spear is one of the newest kids on the block to take a swing at growing Syrah in this cool, foggy, windswept stretch of earth and they are already hitting home runs. Despite being produced from their very first harvest this 2016 bottling is magnificent. Certainly not lacking fruit in the slightest this wine projects restraint with prominent notes of provencal herbs and salt tinged wood. Hints of slow cooked red meat and mesquite poke through with relative weightlessness. Young and energetic with medium plus tannin and acidity coursing through a body that is no more than medium in size. Altogether well executed - this stuff has seriously impressed us. This wine should only continue to improve with age as secondary and tertiary notes begin to blossom.