2012 Syrah, Verna's Vineyard
SANTA BARBARA COUNTY
The 2012 Verna’s Vineyard Syrah relies heavily on the intense hillside plantings of clones Estrella and Davis Clone 1. Leaner and fruiter “flats” plantings of Clones 174 and 877 provide brightness and balance. This Syrah is powerful and complex. Fresh, blueberry, kirsch, coffee, and bramble aromatics. Intense dark berry flavors combine with tapenade and Provencal herbs on the palate. A smooth, lingering finish of fruit and spice. Whole cluster fermentation provides soft, yet substantial tannins along with complex spices.
Vinous 92 Points
Inky ruby. Dark berries, olive, violet and smoky minerals on the fragrant nose. Stains the palate with intense black and blue fruit flavors that deepen and gain sweetness with air. Surprisingly lively for its power, finishing with excellent clarity and silky tannins coming in late. — J.R.
Wine Advocate 92 Points
The 2012 Syrah Verna’s Vineyard is another terrific Syrah that shows the slightly more fresh and streamlined style of this estate. Like the Thompson, it has lots of gaminess in its raw steak, olive tapenade, smoked earth and chocolaty black fruits. These give way to a medium to full-bodied, focused, nicely balanced and moderately structured Syrah (it was cofermented with 3% Viognier, 50% destemmed and aged 18 months in 18% new French oak) that shines for its drinkablity and approachable feel. Still, I like the overall balance here and this will certainly still be solid at age 10. — J.D.