2015 Rusack Syrah Ballard Canyon Estate Reserve

Year: 2015
Appellation: Santa Barbara County
Country: USA - California
Wine Advocate: 90+
Vinous Media: 93
Connoisseurs' Guide: 91
Jeb Dunnuck: 91
Wine Enthusiast: 92
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.4%
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"Medium to deep garnet-purple, the 2015 Syrah Reserve (100% Syrah) flaunts some classy oak to begin, giving way to notes of stewed plums, blackberry pie and bay leaves plus a waft of violets. Medium-bodied and sporting a lot of spicy, oak-inspired flavors in the mouth, it has a chewy frame leading right into the woody finish. If that oak marries-in over the next few years and allows some latent fruit to shine through, this may just warrant a better score." (WA)

"The 2015 Syrah Reserve is powerful at the outset, but also remarkably light on its feet. Even with all of its intensity, the Reserve has an element of lift and perfume from a slight inclusion of whole clusters that balances the wine very nicely. Sweet red cherry and plum dominate in a forward, juicy Syrah build on generous fruit, with a touch of American oak that adds sweetness. " (VM)

"Both of Rusack's 2015 Syrah bottlings are well-composed wines that show a careful winemaking hand, and, the Reserve version goes an extra step when it comes to richness and fruity depth. It is both weighty and quite mannerly at once with plenty of varietal authority, and it is very well-balanced with neatly tailored tannins providing welcome back-end grip without interfering with its lengthy fruit-and-spice finish. There seems little question but that this one will develop and deepen for another half-dozen years, but it is a wonderfully polished Syrah whose marriage of richness and refinement is bound to tempt and is sure to reward much earlier drinking. Reviewed: March 2019" (CG)

"The 2015 Syrah Reserve is a step up over the straight Syrah. It spent 16 months in 61% new oak, with 89% being French and 11% American oak. Blackberry, currants, licorice, toasted spice and hints of earth give way to a ripe, supple, sexy Syrah that's a joy to drink." (JD)

"Black-currant paste and baking-spice aromas show on the nose of this straightforward Syrah from one of the appellation's primary estates. The palate offers lilac, violet, bright black-plum and açaí flavors, proving pleasant, smooth and elegant. Matt Kettmann" (WE)

Winery Notes:
The grapes for our Ballard Canyon Estate Reserve Syrah release are from the estate vineyards around the winery, located in the stunning Ballard Canyon AVA. Picked at dawn and brought directly to the winery in those early hours, the grapes were de-stemmed, fermented in small 1-ton bins, then punched down by hand numerous times each day to extract dark colors, spicy flavors and smooth tannins from the skins. The new wine was placed into French oak barrels, 61% of which were new.