2013 Holus Bolus Sta. Rita Hills Syrah

SKU #1283632 95 points Wine Enthusiast

 #6 on Top 100 *Best of 2016, Editors' Choice* Though this bottling is Peter Hunken's least-expensive Syrah, it gives his single-vineyard expressions a serious run for the money for best of vintage. Amazing aromas of chipped asphalt, smoked beef, dense boysenberry, soy, cedar, sandalwood and soy drop into a palate of peppery berry juice, beef jerky, underripe blackberry and elderberry, and pepper-crusted teriyaki beef. (MK)  (10/2016)

K&L Notes

From the winery: "The 2013 Holus Bolus Syrah is sourced entirely from John Sebastiano Vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills. This wine is a blend of 3 distinct clones of Syrah (Alban, 470 and 383). The wine was fermented with 25% whole clusters and offers up wonderful dark fruit, provencal spice and refreshing acidity. Aged for 14 months in two and three year-old French oak, bottled without fining or filtration."

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Price: $29.99

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Product Reviews:

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Staff Image By: Ivan Diaz | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/9/2016 | Send Email
With a creamy texture and rich, vibrant flavors, Holus Bolus produces some of the most delectable Syrah of Sta. Rita Hills. Mocha, cedar, brambleberries, black pepper, and vanilla fill out an impressive flavor profile and silky, but powerful texture. Pair this with roasted lamb for a perfectly hedonistic dinner.

Staff Image By: Mari Keilman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/6/2016 | Send Email
This is exactly the kind of domestic Syrah that I'm looking for! Not some ripe, extracted berry bomb, but a bright, spicy balanced red that packs a punch on the nose with some straight-off-the-vine wild berries, crushed pink peppercorns and savory smoked meat gaminess. While it did take a few minutes for the dynamic aromatics to appear, it was well worth the wait because the marriage between the articulated bouquet and the ample yet lifted weight on the palate demonstrates how using grapes from a slightly cooler vineyard in a "warmer" SoCal climate can lead to a syrah with elegance and balance.

Staff Image By: Sharon Kelly | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/6/2016 | Send Email
Another outstanding effort from Black Sheep Finds. Showing substantial blackberry and blueberry fruits upfront with voluptuous body and a trace of sweet spiciness on the nose. Oak is present but elegantly restrained and there is a vivacious acidity that balances everything out into a long, satisfying finish. A fantastic expression of Sta. Rita Hills fruit from producers that never disappoint.
Top Value!

Staff Image By: Diana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/6/2016 | Send Email
I always enjoy this gem from Santa Rita Hills, and the 2013 has all the usual depth and dark berry fruit, plus a smoky quality that elevates the whole drinking experience. Although richness is evident, Holus Bolus feels more Northern Rhône than traditionally juicier California Syrah, and will pair well with gamey food.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Shiraz/Syrah

- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Maria/Santa Barbara

- Santa Maria and Santa Ynez make up the two AVAs of Santa Barbara County, an area known for its natural beauty and temperate climate. The best grape-growing areas, however, are located on the very coastal reaches of these two appellations, and are cooled by ever-present fog and ocean breezes (it is even cooler and foggier here than Carneros!). As expected, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive while the more inland zones lay claim to Bordeaux varietals and some Rhône blends.