2013 Ojai "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Syrah

SKU #1283971 95 points Vinous

 The 2013 Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard is pure class. Rich, seamless and inviting, yet with vibrant beams of salinity and tannin beneath, the 2013 stands out because of its impeccable balance. Nothing is out of place. Cool-climate peppery, gamy notes add an attractive upper-register. Lavender, violets and inky blue/purplish fruit are infused into the layered, vivid finish. With time in the glass, the 2013 develops a super-appealing feel of vertical structure. The 2013 is very young. It is also very beautiful. This is another stellar set of new releases from Adam Tolmach and Fabien Castel at Ojai. The various appellation-level wines and the 2013 Syrahs are among the many highlights in this extensive range. I was also deeply impressed with the Sangiovese and Barbera in 2014. Adam Tolmach is known for many things. Making top-notch wines from Italian varieties is not exactly at the top of the list. And yet, the Ojai Sangiovese and Barbera are both superb. Best of all, these wines remain incredibly fairly priced in today's market. Tolmach adds he keeps prices low so he doesn't have to travel to promote and market the wines. Readers should take advantage of Tolmach's no-nonsense approach. These are some of the best wines readers will find anywhere for the money. (AG)  (6/2016)

94 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Editors; Choice* A crazy amount of peppercorn, from white to black to green to red, pops on the nose of this bottling by the legendary Adam Tolmach. Aromas also convey dried violet, black gravel and the slightest touch of blueberry. The pepper spice is almost unbelievable on the sip, where it spices up the soy and coffee-bean flavors.  (10/2016)

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Price: $45.99
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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.
Alcohol Content (%): 13