Grapelive Daily Pick
By Kerry Winslow
2006 Big Basin Syrah “Rattlesnake Rock” Estate, Santa Cruz Mountains.
This is Big Basin’s signature wine and it is the wine that caused all the buzz a few years ago when Robert Parker scored it 93 Points and word got out that Bradley Brown, winemaker, had some mentoring from John Alban, of Alban Vineyards. This extreme location and dramatic vineyard is enough to give any winegrower nightmares, but with careful attention and tiny yields makes for some stunning Syrah that has wonderful texture and lovely purple dark color. Bradley, like Ablan, likes to hold his wine back as long as he can, and this wine has just started to unfold and it has turned the corner so to speak, giving thick layers of flavor that I’m sure would not have been on show any earlier than now. It was a bit of a surprise to see just how smooth and lush this wine is, it has an aged Hermitage feel, but with youthful fruit and it is like a Grand Cru Burgundy is class, but much bigger and fuller. The nose has floral notes as well as game, leather and cassis that hints of the pleasures to come on the palate. This Syrah is mouth-coating and ever expanding with blueberry, boysenberry, kirsch like cherry and liqueur all delivered in a sweet and plumy way with touches of graphite, mineral, coca powder, spices and subtle vanilla notes. ($55 Est.) 94-95 Points, grapelive
*Coming Soon to Rancho Cellars 1-831-625-5646