Benevolent Neglect 'Las Madres' Syrah, Carneros, Napa Valley, California 2015

Benevolent Neglect Syrah.jpg
Benevolent Neglect Syrah.jpg

Benevolent Neglect 'Las Madres' Syrah, Carneros, Napa Valley, California 2015


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 relatively undiscovered. Drink now-2030. 40% whole bunch. 30% new Hungarian oak.

Press review:

Decanter: “This is 40% whole bunch fermented, from one of the finest Syrah vineyards in Sonoma. Slightly cloudy. Soaring herbal, stalky fragrance. Wild blueberry and juniper, lifted by subtle menthol. Lovely sense of energy, tension and vibrancy, the crisp acidity matched by a distinct sucrosity to the fruit. Richly textural, with a tactile grain and a saline finish. Very moreish. Drink now-2022.“ 95 points

Jamie Goode: “So floral and expressive on the nose with some meaty reductive notes and some lovely peppery focus. The palate is fresh and complex with black pepper, a hint of meat and some olive tapenade character. Really nice varietal character: cool climate peppery Syrah with some incredible texture.” 94 points

Customer comments:

“Its absolutely insane!!!” - Mr. I.P.

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