2013WaxwingSyrah2013 Waxwing, Syrah, Lester Family Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mountains.
Scott Sisemore’s San Francisco based micro-winery Waxwing Wine Company is a label to discover after a handful of vintages he is making some really good juice, all small lots of cool climate offerings, especially good are his Sonoma Coast Pinots and Syrah wines, but he also crafts a tasty Santa Cruz Mountains Syrah from Lester Family Vineyard. The Lester Family Vineyard at Deer Park not far from Aptos and very close to the ocean is a sandy/loamy soiled site that catches marine influence and lives on ancient seabed, the cool air allows long hang time and smooth tannin development, but with good acidity and lower alcohol, Scott has made the most of these qualities here in his 2013 Syrah, which he fermented whole cluster and soaked on the skins for seven days. The results are impressive, the 2013 Lester Family Syrah by Waxwing shows rich fruit intensity, silky fine grained tannins, lifting acidity and chocolatey texture, it was raised for 18 months in once used French oak and has a very pleasing mouth feel and a deep purple and garnet hue. The nose starts with crushed flowers, cinnamon stick and peppery spices with hints of dark berry and liqueur leading to a full bodied palate of blackberry, plum and sweet cherry fruits with mocha, new leather, anise and wild herbs and a hint of stems along with cedar and vanilla notes. This is a decedent Hermitage clone Syrah that is drinking ripe and forward young, but with it’s subtle complexity and structure I believe it might be interesting to tuck a few bottles away for another 2 to 5 years, I think it will really bring out some extra depth and character, and at 13.4% there is no drama of heat or loss off freshness, this is fun stuff and the finish is expressive with hints of cassis, blueberry, celery root and fudge lingering on and on.
($32 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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