2009 Wind Gap Syrah Griffin's Liar Vineyard

Year: 2009
Appellation: Sonoma Coast
Country: USA - California
Wine Advocate: 91
Vinous Media: 95
Wine & Spirits: 91
Red Wine
Price :
$39.95
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"The 2009 Syrah Griffin’s Lair is explosive and plush. Blackberries, camphor, spices, licorice and tar all flow from this rich, concentrated wine. There is plenty of depth in the glass, but not as much elegance as is found in the best wines. Game, smoke and licorice add complexity on the tannic finish. Today the Griffin’s Lair is a bit of a brute and I imagine it will always have a rough-around-the-edges personality. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2021.

I was deeply impressed with many of the wines I tasted from Wind Gap and proprietors Pax and Pamela Mahle. The estate favors cooler, marginal sites. The wines are made with a very natural approach, which is to say the grapes are crushed by foot, aging is largely done in neutral oak and the wines are bottled without fining or filtration. Best of all, many of these wines sell for very reasonable prices. Readers should note that Mahle’s Agharta line-up is reviewed separately. Pax Mahle told me he plans to re-launch his Pax label in the near future." (WA)

"Inky purple. Exotic bouquet combines wild dark berry, cherry compote and licorice, lifted by notes of potpourri and cracked pepper. At once dense and juicy, with a compelling sweetness to its intense blackberry, boysenberry and violet pastille flavors. Bright acidity and a deep Moroccan spice quality give this wine energy and aromatic persistence. The blue fruits continue on the finish, which refuses to let up." (IWC)

Winery Notes:
While I have always intentionally shied away from using the T word (yes, the favorite marketing term for wineries – Terroir), it’s hard to argue with eight years of wines that carry a specific identifiable character, regardless of vintage. In fact, we have Viognier and Pinot Noir from Griffins Lair in multiple vintages in the cellar, and they too carry the same vineyard characteristics. Of course, the flip side to Terroir is that if you don’t like those characteristics, you may not like the wine. In as few words as possible, the Terroir of Griffins Lair is a wild, salty/smoky and savage dank darkness . . . yep, that’s it.

Winemaking:
100% Indigenous Fermentations 75% Whole Cluster 25% Destemmed fruit 12 months elevage in neutral French barrel 100% Syrah 100% Griffins Lair 13.6% Alc by Vol 3.72 pH 390 cases bottled

Tasting Note:
The slow moving black liquid with purple edges in your glass gives you fair warning of the size of the wine you are about to taste. The nose . . . pure Griffins Lair! With dark, reticent aromas of sea salt, violets, smoke, crème de cassis, cured meat and anything you can think of that is black. The texture and weight of this wine is incredible. There is great dark fruit and no shortage of tannins and super bright fresh natural acidity that you would expect from Griffins Lair, but this wine is really all about texture and weight right now.


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