2014 Piedrasassi, Syrah, Rim Rock Vineyard, Arroyo Grande Valley.
Sashi Moorman’s Rim Rock Syrah might just be his signature wine with it’s edgy stemmy intensity and deep layers of black fruits, this is one of California’s ultimate expressions of Syrah and it’s an alluring wine that will challenge your palate and make you re-think what this grape can do! Moorman, who oversaw most every vintage at Stolpman and has his hand in Raj Parr’s Sandhi as well as leading the effort for Oregon’s Evening Land Vineyards, is one of California’s star winemakers, it’s been a thrill to follow his career over the last decade and a half, he’s helped Syrah gain traction in the middle price range, especially with the great value offerings he has crafted at Stolpman over the years, and when we rewrite Syrah’s history in the state he will join the grape’s heros like John Alban, Adam Tolmach (Ojai), Randall Grahm (Boony Doon), Manfred Krankl (Sine Qua Non), Pax Maule (Pax & Windgap) Vanessa Wong (Peay) and others. While Syrah may never get to be the next big thing in the mainstream market, it has found a great niche and honestly for the money some of California’s great red wines are Syrah, wines like this Piedrasassi especially prove that! Also right now, you should search out Booker, Drew, Halcon, Cattleya, Lucia (Pisoni), Anthill Farms, Sheldon Wines, Melville, Radio-Coteau and Joyce Vineyards, who I just got a preview of, (Joyce Tondre 2016!) and you’ll not want to miss. This spicy Rim Rock Vineyard, a 150 case production handcrafted wine, shows racy peppercorns and olive tapenade that add contrast to the density of the opulent boysenberry, plum, blueberry and black cherry fruit, added mineral tones, cedar, earthy notes, cassis, crushed violets, tobacco leaf and anise. The mouth feel gains breadth with air, though only 13% natural alcohol, this is a brilliant wine and the whole cluster stem inclusion gives it a powerful Cornas, think Allemand or Clape, Northern Rhone feel and warm California ripeness (smooth, but firm tannins) giving palate impact, this is a wine that will reward the patient and looks to be a classic/legendary Syrah, drink from 2018 to 2028.
($55 Est.) 95+ Points, grapelive

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