"Still in barrel at the time of this tasting, the 2012 Syrah The Hustler is a blockbuster-styled Syrah that's overflowing with notions of sweet red and black fruits, toasted bread, cured meats and cedar. Only made in special vintages (it was previously made in '03, '07 and '09) and aged 38 months in French oak, it's full-bodied, decadent and layered, with a weightless, elegant, seamless feel. Coming all from the Morrison Lane Vineyard (it's actually the Morrison Lane Syrah with extended barrel aging), it should be ready to go on release and dish out tons of pleasure over the following decade or more. The extended elevage has given this a more upfront feel, yet I suspect it will also allow it age more slowly as well.
As usual, this was a massive lineup by Washington's wild man, Charles Smith. Despite the larger-than-life persona, these wines are dead serious and are always some of the best I'm able to taste from the state. All of the Rhone varieties see 100% whole cluster, native fermentations and aging in mostly neutral French oak. At the top end, both the 2012 Royal City Syrah and 2012 Klein Syrah flirted with perfection, but the whole lineup is stacked with both quality and value. I think the 2012s are slightly superior to the '13s, but both of these vintages are strong here." (WA)
First release of the decade for this 38-month barrel aged Syrah. It
opens with black walnut, candied fruit and salty plum. Massive
stone and earth on the palate. One sip and away we go!