Monday, April 6, 2009

Big Basin Spring Open House 4/4/09

What can I say? One of the new stars of the Santa Cruz Mountains. These wines aren't like anyone else's. Note that many of these wines were run through a Venturi, so are showing a bit more than they would otherwise at this point.

'08 "Aura" Rose of Syrah (CA)
Syarh and a bit of Grenache barrel fermented in French Oak.
Nose - rich, raspberry and strawberry, smoky and toasty.
Toasty rich strawberry, lemon zest and truffle. Very nice. 91 pts.

'07 Pinot Noir Branciforte Ridge (SCM)
Nose - tight, smooth, strawberry/rhubarb.
Minerally rhubarb and strawberry, smoky, earthy. 93 pts
Because this was Venturi'd, it was showing more on the palate than what I had last week. Excellent. Vigorous decant or wait a couple years.

'07 Pinot Noir Bald Mountain (SCM)
(This will be a September release.)
Nose - Stony, rustic, tight, cranberry and rhubarb, nutmeg, savory/meaty.
Dark, dense, blackberry, truffle, graphite, smoke and zest, with a touch of rhubarb and cranberry. Wait til 2011. 92 pts

'08 Pinot Noir Alfaro Family Vyd. (SCM) barrel sample
Nose - heavy, persimmon, cassis, tangello, smoke and black cherry.
Lighter than expected from the nose. Rich, raspberry, graphite, red plum and smoke. Wait til late 1010. 91+

'06 Syrah "Sri" (SCM)
Nose - intense, driving blackberry and truffle, graphite, smoke, hint of cranberry.
Cranberry, red plum, truffles and blackberry. Round, earthy, with orange zest on the finish. Needs a year. 90+ pts

'06 Syrah "Mandala" (65% Estate, 35% Fairview Ranch)
Nose - stony dark zesty fruit -> black cherry, blackberry, earthy, pithy, graphite, red currant.
Earthy and bright, blackberry, truffle, pith, mandarin zest. Needs at least a year. 89+ pts
(A matter of preference of expression, as most others like the Mandalas better than me. Just less than the sum of its parts? Or are the presumably younger vines/lesser lots a significant factor?)

'06 Syrah Fairview Ranch (Santa Lucia Highlands)
Nose - full, black fruit and red cherry, black cherry, orange.
Rich, round, earthy, zesty, pure blackberry, truffle, graphite, orange zest, smoky.
Drink now to 2014. 93+ pts

'06 Syrah Rattlesnake Rock (SCM)
Nose - dense, dark minerality, but also bright. With mandarin, blackberry and black cherry, sandalwood, nutmeg and a hint of clove.
Firm tannin, smooth blackberry, very integrated - mushrrom, mandarin, hints of rhubarb, graphite, smoke, tobacco, cedar. Long and easy. Touches of resin and lavender on the finish. Gorgeous! Now to 2024. 95 pts
If you've got to drink a Rattlesnake Rock in the near term, this is the one. Let the other sleep.

'07 Syrah Coastview (Gavilan Mountains) barrel sample Spring 2010 release
Nose - intense jammy blackberry and blueberry, Nilla Wafers, sandalwood, nutmeg, red clay, and a hidden underlying minerality.
Rich full blueberry jam, orange and orange zest, mushroom, boysenberry, a bit grippy. 93 pts

'07 "Odeon" Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah Black Ridge Vineyard (SCM) barrel sample
Nose - tight, heavy, dark, blackberry, black currant, hints of creme de menthe.
Bright fresh Cab fruit without obvious oak, touch of cedar, boysenberry, some earth, mushrron, zest, smoke. 91 pts

'08 Grenache/Syrah (65%/35%) Estate (SCM) barrel sample
Nose - heady medley of raspberry, rhubarb, strawberry. red currant and red plum, with subtle French oak spice.
Earthy, toasty, red fruit medley, cinnamon, sandalwood, mushroom, touch of orange and a hint of nasturtium. Needs 2 years. 93 pts

'04 Syrah Rattlesnake Rock (SCM)
Nose - Dense black fruit, with heady spice box aromas, cedar, touch of resin. Just plain WOW!
Sultry foresty blackberry - just so complex and gorgeous - structured and packed! At a loss for words. Peppery mouthfeel. Should improve for 15 years. 96+ pts

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