Pax 'The Hermit' Syrah, North Coast, California 2014

Pax Syrah.jpg
Pax Syrah.jpg

Pax 'The Hermit' Syrah, North Coast, California 2014


"This is an absolutely gorgeous Syrah... it has the potential to be a serious overachiever." - The Wine Advocate

If you know your Northern Rhone reds, then you will have already spotted a couple of clues in the name of this Californian wine that hint at its inspiration. The name, 'The Hermit', invokes the hallowed vineyards of 'Hermitage', the most famous appellation in the northern Rhone, whose greatest wines are a blend of different parcels of Syrah sourced from the famously steep, terraced vineyards that tumble down to the river below.

If this North Coast Syrah stands a chance of being spoken of in the same breath it should emulate Hermitage's aromas of inky blackcurrants and blueberries dusted with white pepper, crushed violets and eastern spices. It should have real depth of fruit, with treble as well as bass notes, which distinguish the reds of northern Rhone from the grunt and heft of their siblings further South. It should have a sense of mineral coolness, a firm grip of ripe tannins and the ability to age for several decades. It should bring unbelievers to their knees, inspire poets to reach for the sublime and move the stars to pity. It doesn't. But it does taste of blueberries.

If you are looking for a wine to drink with Peking duck or Middle Eastern lamb dishes, then look no further. The mouthwatering fruit, would act like a tangy condiment, cutting through the richness of the food and bringing the subtlety of spices into sharp relief. 

The grapes were pressed as whole clusters and fermented using natural yeasts and the wine was aged for 18 months in neutral French oak. 13.3% alc. Drink now-2025.

Press reviews:

Jancis Robinson: "Leathery, liquorice, medicinal, black cherry and meaty – the very picture of Syrah. Excellent fragrance, lovely tannic crunch and a touch of varnish on the finish – wonderful. (RH). Drink 2017-2027." 17+ points

Antonio Galloni (Feb 2016): "Plum, leather, smoke and dried herbs flesh out in a silky, nuanced Syrah that is sure to deliver tons of pleasure. Kobler, Walker Vine Hill, Castelli Knight Ranch, Griffin's Lair and Alder Springs are the fruit sources. It will be interesting to see the finished wine, but the 2014 has the potential to be a serious overachiever." (90-92) points

Antonio Galloni (March 2017): "Pax's 2014 The Hermit is built around a core of fruit from Walker-Vine Hill. A host of inky blue/purplish fruit, black pepper, licorice, lavender and plum are all pushed forward, with soft contours that add to the wine's considerable immediacy. A closing flourish of savory, peppery notes rounds things out nicely. This is an absolutely gorgeous Syrah from Pax Wine Cellars." 


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