Highlights: The Ojai Vineyard Syrah 2017 Santa Barbara County, California

Syrah from a cool-ish climate in California. It’s a variety you’d think would be thriving in California, but it hasn’t managed to achieve market traction in the way Cabernet Sauvignon has. But this is a good-un.

Winemaker Adam Tolmach explains this wine really well. “The backbone of this 2017 bottling is Syrah grown on steep wind-blasted slopes at John Sebastiano. This site provides loads of gamey, tobacco inflected flavor and tractor beam drinkability, with aromas that show incense smoke and pepper galore! For some textural power we blended in a bit of warmer-climate Syrah from Roll Ranch and a touch of Grenache, also from John Sebastiano. This blend offers a cross-section of everything I love about Syrah: great earthy fragrance, savory fruit, and a mid-weight feel that is quenching and delicious with a fine meal.”

The Ojai Vineyard Syrah 2017 Santa Barbara County, California
13.5% alcohol. 22% Grenache and 3% Sangiovese in the blend, with a small proportion of whole bunch. This has a floral cherry fruit nose with some dried herbs and pepper, as well as a touch of wood smoke. The palate is beautifully fresh and well proportioned, with fine red cherry and berry fruits, showing supple sappy green notes around the fringes and a slight spiciness, with a faint ginger note as well as pepper. This shows elegance, balance and massive drinkability, as well as some seriousness. 94/100 (£33 Tiger Vines)

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