2016 Bonny Doon Vineyard, Syrah “Wolff Vineyard” San Luis Obispo County.
Randall Grahm’s Wolff Vineyard Syrah is a youthful and full bodied effort with classic cool climate character and earthy intensity, it’s instantly a memorable experience that shows off pretty and forward black and blue fruits, spicy/stemmy notes and wild herbs notes along with an iron/blood laced savory tone that keeps things playing between California ripe and old world funky. The more I sip on this the more I love it, recent vintages have been ultra good for Bonny Doon’s Syrah lineup with some real killer wines and big thrills, especially true for their X-Block Bien Nacido 2014 Syrah, which rivals some of California’s best offerings and this new Wolff Vineyard. It remains one of the world’s great mysteries, why Syrah is not embraced for it’s exceptional quality and value in California, besides the ultra cult versions from Alban and Sine Qua Non as well as Saxum, it’s funny, because some of California’s absolutely best red wines for the money are sometimes 100% Syrah, like Randall’s, but also Drew Family, Halcon Vineyards, Peay Vineyards, Pax, Stolpman Vineyards, Andrew Murray and others make great wines that way over deliver for the price! The Wolff Syrah is full bodied and shows youthful grip with oodles of fruit, layers of blackberry, blueberry, plum, boysenberry and sweet cherry lead the way, but are backed up with peppercorns, raw meat, a hint of lacquer, mineral notes and earthy tones with just a kiss of wood, it’s a fine example of California Syrah with an old world soul, it has a refined balance and at 13.5% it shows rich density without being overtly big or heavy. There is more to come here, it’s brightness and stemmy character with smooth out and more floral aromas should fill out the bouquet, it is fun and lively now though and will be great with robust cuisine. I got this at Bonny Doon’s tasting room, and it is available there now, but these limited bottlings tend to go fast, be sure not too wait, and be sure not to miss their Picpoul and the X-Block 2014 Syrah either!
($38 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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