2015 Halcon Vineyards, Syrah, Alturas, Yorkville Highlands.
From tiny yields and intense berries the 40% whole cluster Alturas Syrah, co-fermented with a small batch of Viognier, is a vigorous and deeply flavored wine that at 13.5% alcohol feels denser and fuller than it is, with incredible layering and length. This a magical hand-crafted cool climate Cote-Rotie inspired Syrah that would make Bernard Levet (one of my favorite Northern Rhone producers) proud! And with this high elevation site, it is actually on par with Ampuis (the northern Rhone town closest to Cote-Rotie vineyards) temperature wise if not cooler. This is one of my new favorite must have wines, it’s a brilliant Syrah, hand-crafted by Scott Shapely, winemaker at Roar, it comes off schist and shale soils and gets a blast of cold Pacific breezes and low night time temps that helps with lively acids and flinty spiciness. This 2015 is concentrated and firm, it will reward the patient no question, Paul Gordon’s Halcon Vineyards Alturas is an amazing Syrah that delivers dark black fruits, salted licorice, grilled herbs, crushed stones and lovely liquid violets with a palate that is nervy/edgy and with exceptional length, lingering with gorgeous floral tones, blueberry compote, boysenberry, briar and cassis. If you still haven’t got on Halcon’s mailing list, try this wine and join up, you’ll not want to miss out, the price v. quality here is outrageously good and this wine rocks, as does their Tierra Petite Sirah (done Rhone style with lots of whole cluster) from an awesome single vineyard in Mendocino County, it might be the very best example of Durif I’ve ever had! Check them out, before they sell out of 2015’s.
($32 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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