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SANTA BARBARA COUNTY
One of the most exciting tasks each year is tasting through all of the reserve red wine barrels and crafting Upslope, the best Syrah from the vintage. We look for intensity, concentration, balance, complexity, aging potential and that mysterious “wow” factor. The 2014 Upslope is powerful and densely structured, with blackberry and rose petal aromatics. Smooth and spicy on the palate, with gripping tannins, lingering fruit and white a pepper finish.
The 147-case 2014 Syrah Upslope is straight up gorgeous. Classy, impeccably balanced, pure and layered, with terrific notes of blackberries, currants, pepper, leather and graphite, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, no hard edges, fine tannin and a great, great finish. It's terrific wine. As always, this cuvée is a cellar selection of top barrels and in 2014 it came from Bien Nacido and Thompson Vineyards, saw 30% whole clusters and 22 months in 50% new French oak.
A rich, sumptuous wine, the 2014 Syrah Upslope captures all of the intensity of the vintage in its super-concentrated, dark-toned fruit. The huge tannins are going to need time to soften, but there is plenty to look forward to once that happens. Bold and unctuous, the Upslope is not a shy wine, but it is loaded with personality and character.
Pencil shaving aromas kick off this winery's top-shelf bottling, and then come hints of char, delicate but strong purple flowers and a core of blueberry on the nose. There is a tarry grip to the palate, where flavors of charred boysenberry, lilac and burnt caramel are very clean and elegant.