2014SamsaraSyrah2014 Samsara, Syrah, Santa Barbara County.
The latest Samsara wines are all wonderfully complex, textural and ripe in flavor profiles, both the new Sta. Rita Hills Pinot and Santa Barbara County Syrah show fine definition, smooth tannins and whole cluster spicy characters, and better still both offer great value for the hand crafted quality in each varietal. Focusing on the beautiful and dark Santa Barbara Syrah, by Chad Melville, reveals a wine with a blueish/black core and vibrant garnet edges that has mixed scents of violets, minty herbs, cracked peppercorns and cassis notes leading to a full bodied palate that shows boysenberry, pomegranate, kirsch, cedar, earthy/loam and bitter coco as well as black olive and wild lavender. There is a pleasing vibrancy and energy that keeps these fresh and a lingering tangy currant and anise on the finish. This is a very solid effort that has lots of pretty details, it’s wine that shows off a bit of California swagger, but still pays homage to the Northern Rhone, leaning more towards Cote-Rotie than Cornas in a very poised and entertaining way. Samsara is a winery to search out, both the Syrah and Pinot bottlings are outstanding and will make for excellent drinking over the next 3 to 5 years.
($40 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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