Gorgeous orange-tinged ruby, water-light and clear. Plump fruit and charming spice in the nose, uplifting dusky mint-evergreen smokiness intoxicating and elegant while not gaudy. I believe this is a blend of Bentrock and Bien Nacido, but it no doubt changes with vintage. Easy and rewarding on the tongue–until the purists green-briar kicks in, followed closely by dry tannins. Lovely round cherry and strawberry linger on all fronts but it never sells itself out to the fatty syrah-bling style so popular these days. Pinot through-and-through, never compromising, never pulling the *bite* back, easily one of my favorite County-level AVA wines produced in California. A near-PERFECT Pinot Noir.
2014 TYLER WINERY Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County 13.0
Dense purple-blue with a fluorescent rim. Raw berry, crushed on the concrete and baking in the sun. Dirty straw-broom attempts to work patina into the rosy fruit. Easy-to-find love-handles present a dangerously flabby side to the cheerfulness, while dirt and oily chemical-ness become more prominent with each swirl. Bright and sweet on the palate, tasting every bit the color in the glass. As round and full as one could possibly hope for in something this frustratingly infantile, the obtuse nectar follows the tannin all the way through to the end. The final memory of fruit is not pleasant, and several other nuances concern me. Taste again in 5 years.
2016 JAFFURS WINE CELLARS Syrah Santa Barbara Co. 14.3