2017 Samuel Louis Smith, Syrah “Sandstone Terrace” Santa Cruz Mountains.
The Samuel Louis Smith Sandstone Terrace Syrah from the Santa Cruz Mountains is an awesomely beautiful wine with a heady bouquet of crushed violets, lilacs and spicy black fruits that leads to a fantastically textured, but lively medium full palate of boysenberry, blueberry compote, peppered raspberry, plum and kirsch along with licorice, minty herb (partial whole cluster?) and cedary notes, it’s a cool climate Syrah of Saint-Joseph class if not Cote-Rotie, it’s an ultra impressive effort. Sam Smith, ex Margerum and the head winemaker at Monterey’s Morgan Winery is one of the most intriguing talents in the Monterey Bay, south Santa Cruz Mountains and central coast, seemingly to have come out of nowhere, he’s one of areas top new talents and these 2017’s are his best yet, they include a Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay, this Syrah and his gorgeous Albatross Ridge Pinot Pinot (click here) which I recently reviewed. This deeply colored wine is almost opaque with purple/garnet hues in the glass is wonderfully inviting and while refined and seamless it has plenty of extract, structure and acidity to be a stunning companion with cuisine with a tannin profile that firmly frames the fruit, and gets even more interesting with air and in particular with food adding a touch of game, camphor and cassis. Syrah lovers should not miss this one, it looks to released before this Holiday season and since it will be limited you might want to pre-order or get on Smith’s mailing list, you’ll not be disappointed, and it’s a killer deal for the quality, drink over the next 3 to 5 years, and more than likely much longer though it will be hard to not drink it now.
($33 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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