2012PaxCastelliKnight2012 Pax, Syrah, Castelli Knight Ranch, Russian River Valley.
The multi layered Pax Castelli Knight Syrah beams a purple message to the heavens, this stylish offering puts Pax in the spotlight as one of California’s best producers of this varietal, and without question is an awesome modern example. While full bodied and ripe, it carries a pretty heavy hit of alcohol at 14.9%, it does feel and taste much more light-footed and northern Rhone in character with stemmy Cornas like qualities and it handles itself with poise and vitality, very balanced and wonderfully complex, whole-cluster California Syrah at it’s best, this is serious stuff. The nose gives you gorgeous aromatics with violets, creme de cassis, white pepper, cedar and black olives leading to a palate with Guigal La La type impact and verve with boysenberry, kirsch, peppercorns, stony notes, a touch of graphite, anise and tangy blueberries. Air just brings refined depth to the fore, structure stays intact with chewy, but well judged tannin control, subtle wood and a plush plummy mouth feel. The Pax 2012 Castelli Knight rocks, plain and simple, it has pleasing everything and is pure sex in the bottle and the finish is a lingering array of cinnamon, minty herbs and blueberry compote. This year, Pax joins Lagier Merideth, Samsara, Peay, Stolpman, Lucia-Pisoni and Sandlands as my top California Syrah wines of the last 12 months of tastings, drink this fantastic wine over the next 5 to 7 years, best from 2016 to 2022.
($55 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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