2019 Halcón, Syrah, Elevación, Yorkville Highlands, Mendocino County.
As mentioned in my recent reviews of Halcón wines, it is sad that owner and winemakers Jackie and Paul Gordon have sold the estate and dissolved the label after their swan song 2019 vintage, which is turning out to be pretty magical, as this fantastic Elevación Syrah shows, it looks to be a wine of stellar proportions with a wild feral edgy personality. This Northern Rhone style Syrah starts with black olive tapenade, crushed violets, peppercorns and dense black raspberry fruit, all of which rotate on the nose and palate with hints of bacon, dried herbs, creme de cassis and woodsy truffle. Rarely do California Syrahs reach this level of excitement, ripe in fruit and be this savory, at this cost level, so I really hope that enthusiasts get a chance to try these Halcón versions, with their Alturas and this Elevación both being exceptional. But if not, I suggest checking out Jolie-Laide, Piedrasassi, Desire Lines Wine Co., and Farm Cottage Wines, which also produce Syrah(s) with that whole cluster intensity and sultry earthiness at remarkably affordable prices, making for incredibly rewarding and value packed wines.
The Halcón Elevación Syrah is a specal small batch cuvée of 100% heritage clone Syrah that was grown at the higher part of the Halcón Estate Vineyard on the rocky schist soils of the Yorkville Highlands, which has a slightly cooler climate than Ampuis, the village closest to Côte Rotie, where the inspiration for this wine came from, modeled after the legendary wines of Domaine Jamet and others employing the old school and traditional methods of winemaking. This wine was done using 100% whole cluster and native yeast fermentation in vats with a long maceration and no additions or adjustments before being basket pressed and aged in a neutral, old and well seasoned, French oak Puncheon to allow all of the raw and rustic character to shine through here, it was bottled completely unfined and unfiltered, again to show all of the nuances of vintage and vineyard. This awesome Syrah has transparency, tannic grip and beautiful texture, it is best enjoyed with robust cuisine and should age for decades. Jackie and Paul Gordon are certainly missed by Syrah lovers here in California and this wine is one of the last that they produced at the Halcón Vineyard before they sold it and moved back to Europe. I’m glad I put a few bottles away and I look forward to re-visiting these Halcón wine in the coming years, I recommend grabbing any you still see out there!
($46 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive