Deep purple ruby with tiny pink edges. An effusive floral funk attacks you–all funk and cellar-floor, rife with dirty baby diaper and earthiness quite unlike any Ballard Canyon Syrah you have had. Wilted lily and an intense minerality churn the oblique black cherry fruit far beyond your typical Santa Barbara Syrah offering. This thing screams Hermitage front, center and finish on so many levels most Cali-wonks will be positively offended. Nutty and ripe, sour cherry plays against all manner of barnyard and beautiful vegetal nuance. A steely mineralific base churns out decadent blackberry in bretty ways you never thought possible with California wines.
This wine flies in the face of all fruit-bomb Santa Barbara Syrahs and 95-point Napa cabs. It accentuates the ability of certain winemakers to produce wines stalwart in their old-world balance and nuance not-with-standing the fruit being sourced from areas nearly trademarked with over-extracted cinnamon dessert and flabbiness. These are the young guns.
In the mouth, more of the classic Euro cellar and dense bright fruit played hard against grating crushed wet gravel. The St. Joseph thread gores this thing front, middle and end with more funk tying the central rose hips and bitter cherry into bright crisp tannin accentuating rather than subduing the chalky acidity. THIS is what California can do, boys and girls: and while we are accustomed to seeing shades of this style from North Coast, here is a ripe Ballard Canyon pulling it off in grand style. This is something you need a case of.
2013 ROARK WINE COMPANY Syrah Ballard Canyon Santa Ynez Valley Santa Barbara Co. 13.6