Benevolent Neglect Syrah, Carneros, Napa Valley, California 2015

Benevolent Neglect Syrah.jpg
Benevolent Neglect Syrah.jpg

Benevolent Neglect Syrah, Carneros, Napa Valley, California 2015

48.00

This outstanding Californian Syrah tastes as if it is of noble descent. Echoes of Sine Qua Non’s ‘Piranha Waterdance’ Syrah course through its veins, like the blue-blood of royal birthright. It’s there in the inky, blueberry fruit that coats your palate in aristocratic finery. Echoes too of Piedrasassi’s ‘Rimrock’ Syrah in its decadent aromas of candied violets, pink peppercorns and black raspberry, as well as a line descending from that black sheep, Abe Schoener, with its savoury hints of black olives, grilled bacon fat and charcuterie.

Winemakers-without-land, Matt Nagy and Ben Brenner, have pulled off quite a coup in convincing the owners of one of California’s most prized vineyards, Las Madres, to give them some of their best fruit. To be fair, Matt didn’t exactly arrive with a blank CV, he had made 100-point wines at Maybach prior to this, so he has some serious pedigree and it shows in the wine. You can compare it to the great wines of the Northern Rhone if you must, but there’s a supple richness and a deep, indulgent succulence that places it in the sun-drenched Californian soil. It’s magnificent and the only reason it isn’t twice the price is because it’s still undiscovered. There are as yet no scores from The Wine Advocate or Vinous, so we are ahead of the game. Drink now-2030. 40% whole bunch. 30% new Hungarian oak.

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