2011 Villa Creek "Bassetti Vineyard" Paso Robles Syrah
The 2011 Syrah Bassetti Vineyard is going to be a fascinating wine to follow next to the superb 2010 as both develop in bottle. From a much cooler vintage, the 2011 is distinctly savory, floral and delineated, with perhaps a little more energy than the 2010. At the same time, the 2011 is going to need at least a few years in barrel to absorb the 50% new barrels proprietor Cris Cherry used in this vintage. Rosemary, rose petals and sage linger on the impeccable finish. I tasted a wide range of new and upcoming releases with proprietor Cris Cherry. The Villa Creek wines have always been delicious, but over the last few years, Cherry has begun moving his wines in a direction that reflects more maturity. A gradual move to larger barrels, less new oak, greater use of stems and the introduction of concrete are all choices that continue to inform these fabulous wines.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(made with 50% whole clusters and 13.5% alcohol, which is unusually low for a Villa Creek wine): Bright purple. Highly perfumed aromas of cherry and blueberry liqueur, with smoky Indian spice and potpourri notes adding complexity. Powerful but lively black and blue fruit flavors show excellent depth, clarity and palate-staining intensity. The vibrant, youthfully tannic finishfinish clings with outstanding tenacity and repeats the spice and floral notes.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Coming from the Bassetti Vineyard that’s located on the western edge of Paso Robles, in San Luis Obispo County and in a cooler, wetter terroir, the 2011 Syrah Bassetti Vineyard shows the wild, gamey and slightly herbal side to the variety. Offering up perfumed, floralfloral and peppery aromas with plenty of plum, olive and smoke rounding out the bouquet, it hits the palate with a medium-bodied profile that carries serious richness and extract, with an overall supple, pure texture. Count me a fan and it should evolve gracefully through 2021 or beyond. Drink 2015-2021. One of my favorite estates, Cris Cherry’s Villa Creek is located on the western side of Paso Robles, high up off Peachy Canyon Road. He continues to experiment with Rhone and increasingly Spanish (think Rioja and Priorat) varieties, as well as with varying amount of whole-cluster inclusion. The wines offeroffer singular, unique profiles, with loads of flavor and character.