2014 Andrew Murray Vineyards, Surah, Roasted Slope, Santa Barbara County.
Andrew Murray’s Roasted Slope is a modern California classic, it was one of the first affordable cult Syrahs in the late1990’s, and the 2014 marks it return after an extended break, while Murray found the right vineyards to make it the way he wanted with the co-fermentation of Viognier, as it’s a homage to Cote-Rotie (translated means Roasted Slope) and it’s a gorgeous deep wine. The 2014 Roasted Slope is from 3 blocks of Syrah and a tiny amount of Viognier from a site on Alisos Canyon Road, it’s a 28 Barrel cuvee, that allows for good availability and value for such a top flight offering, and Andrew Murray is back at his Rhone Ranger best with this new set of wines, especially this classy effort that blends the rich decadence of Guigal with impressive mouth feel and a bit of Bernard Levet raw/spicy character with a solid cool climate/northern Rhone quality, but still firmly highlighting California ripe/density and Santa Barbara terroir. Lovely violets, creme de cassis, peppercorns leading the way on the nose and with a very dark purple/black and garnet hue in the glass give a beautiful prelude to a medium/full palate that expands in the mouth, gaining in texture, while retaining vibrancy and vitality showing blackberry, boysenberry, blueberry and wild plum fruits along with dusty mix of cinnamon, lavender, minty/anise, black olives, burnt embers and light cedar notes. This a seductive wine with an opulent impact delivered with luxurious elegance and purity, it lingers with superb length and sex appeal, the aftertaste goes on for a long time with a touch of earth, kirsch and a kiss of vanilla. Andrew Murray also has a really exciting and tangy/juicy/dry Cinsault Rose and a new Cinsault Rouge that I look forward to trying, as well as a great collection of single vineyard Syrah bottlings, including a Stolpman, Thompson and Watch Hill that should get your attention too, plus don’t miss his Esperance Rhone White and Red Blends and the entry level Tous les Jours Syrah, one of the best priced reds in the state! I love these wines, if you are a fan of Bedrock or Arnot-Roberts, I think you’ll love these as well, this 2014 Andrew Murray Roasted Slope Syrah is the real deal, drink it over the next 5 to 10 years!
($39 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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