2015 Levo "Right to Bear Flowxrs" Santa Barbara County Syrah

SKU #1377526 94 points Jeb Dunnuck

 Sourced from top sites in Santa Barbara County, the deep, inky-colored 2015 Syrah The Right to Bear Flowxrs (88% Syrah, 8% Petite Sirah, and 4% Viognier) offers up a ripe, flamboyant bouquet of bacon fat, barbecue smoke, white pepper, and blackberries. Brought up in one-third new French oak with one-third stems, this medium to full-bodied Syrah has terrific density and depth, a sexy texture, and no hard edges. In short, it’s a rocking wine to drink any time over the coming 7-8 years.  (11/2018)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2015 Flowxrs Syrah (which contains splashes of Petite Sirah and Viognier) offers up aromas of crunchy black fruits, cracked pepper, tapenade and bay leaf. On the palate, it's full-bodied, rich and chewy, with a nice core of savory fruit. It's a hearty, characterful red with plenty of fruit and some somewhat rustic tannin. (WK)  (5/2018)

91 points Vinous

 Deep violet. Powerful black and blue fruit scents are complemented by suggestions of candied violet, olive paste and woodsmoke. Sweet and penetrating on the palate, offering juicy black currant and boysenberry flavors that deepen steadily as the wine opens up. Shows very good energy and spicy thrust on the supple finish, which leaves dark fruit liqueur and cracked pepper notes behind. (JR)  (1/2019)

K&L Notes

Winemaker's notes: "88% Syrah, 8% Petite Syrah, 4% Viognier. Santa Barbara County Vineyards: White Hawk, Kimsey, Duvarita and Stolpman. Glass staining Violet. Explosive blackberries, Kalamata olive tapenade, leather, cured meat, tobacco, smoke and boysenberry. A mineral like acidity melts with soft round tannins. Decant for 1-2 hours before enjoying. This wine will age nicely for 8 years +. Vineyards: White Hawk, Kimsey, Duvarita and Stolpman. Production Notes: Aged in 33% new French oak and 67% neutral and once used French oak. Decant for 1-2 hours before enjoying. This wine will age nicely for 8+ years. 276 cases."

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Price: $39.95

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- 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.

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.


- 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.
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.