2019 Pax Wines, Dazed & Carbonic, Syrah, Viognier & Trousseau Gris, California.
Pax’s weird and light bodied red, Dazed and Carbonic, was inspired by the classic Led Zeppelin song Dazed and Confused, which at first you’d think was named very aptly! As the winery says, this crazy quaffable red wine is a blend of co-fermented and carbonic Syrah, Viognier and uniquely Trousseau Gris, a rare grey/pinkish grape, once called Grey Riesling here in California, all which saw 100% Whole Cluster and spontaneous natural fermentation in a stainless steel tank. After which Pax then gently pressed of the skins and stems before a five month élevage or resting period in neutral French oak 500L puncheons before bottling. The 2019 Dazed and Carbonic is bright and fresh, but also juicy ripe with a tart and tangy finish, making it best served chilled, with macerated cherry, golden raisins, red peach, blood orange and cranberry/apple fruits along with succulent florals, cinnamon spice and a hint of amaro herbal elements with plenty of zesty acidity to finish crisply. There’s just enough sweetness of fruit to make this a wine that will go very nicely with Thanksgiving meals and will hold up well to all the side fixings along with the roast bird.
The wine world is better for all the choices we have and wines such as this Pax Dazed and Carbonic that pushes the envelope of our pre-conceptions of what wine can be, plus it is fun and has no pretense. Pax notes that in the final breakdown of the varietals here, there was just 35% Syrah total, 35% Viognier and pretty close to 30% Trousseau Gris in this Dazed and Carbonic, but the skin contact and maceration provides this uniquely crafted wine its bright ruby/garnet color, just slightly darker than your average Rosé. The finished Dazed and Carbonic comes in at 12.5% Abv, making it on the lighter side and moderate in alcohol, but still vinous on the palate, which you can feel when it starts to warm in the glass, though most people will enjoy best cool and crisp, maybe at the beach or by the fire. Pax does a quality set of natural quaffers, including this one as well as rarities like Trousseau Noir, Gamay, Freisa, Charbono and Mondeuse, all of which offer a delightful experience and are well worth searching out and gives Pax’s wine club an extra degree of enticement to go along with their world class collection of Syrah offerings. There are exciting times ahead for Pax with a special new Syrah vineyard that will likely become an iconic and signature site for this exceptional California winery!
($28 Est.) 88 Points, grapelive