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Last of the Syrahs, the 2018 Syrah High Contrast Vineyard reveals a deep ruby/purple color as well as a wonderfully complex, classic Syrah nose of red and black fruits, cured meats, mushrooms, bacon fat, iron, and forest floor, with a touch of flowers emerging with time in the glass. With its medium to full-bodied richness, firm, focusing tannins, and great finish, it’s another wine that takes savoriness to the nth degree. I love its texture, and there’s almost a Burgundian style here that keeps you coming back to the glass. Hide bottles for 4-5 years and enjoy over the following two decades.Jeb Dunnuck | 97+ JDNotes of blackberry with coffee, nutmeg and smoke undertones. It’s full-bodied with fine tannins. Elegant and balanced on the palate with a creamy texture and supple, smoky character. Long finish. Drink in 2024.James Suckling | 96 JSBright ruby-red, the darkest of these Horsepower bottlings. Aromas of blackberry, blueberry, menthol, bitter chocolate, crushed rock, violet and licorice are more Hermitage than Côte-Rôtie. At once dense and lively, conveying more energy and black fruit intensity than the Sur Echalas Syrah. Boasts lovely inner-mouth verve and definition for such a rich wine, and a captivating balance of sweetness and acidity. Also purer and sweeter than the Sur Echalas, with more subtle salty and balsamic tones. Finishes firmly tannic, ripe and very long, with complicating hints of violet and black olive. I particularly like this wine’s balance of acidity and sweetness. It has the spine to evolve positively in bottle but its subtle sweetness gives it early appeal. Incidentally, the Horsepower wines are fermented in concrete tanks and aged in neutral demi-muids and foudres, with this bottling getting some second-fill demi-muids. (Tasted June 2021; Published September 2021)Vinous Media | 94 VMWith grapes coming from a vineyard where the stones of the ancestral Walla Walla River and the surrounding silty loam meet, the aromas bring notes of raspberry, funk, ash, blood orange, black olive and potpourri. Palate-coating, intense flavors follow, showing layers of complexity. It’s more overtly rich in style than prior vintages but with no shortage of grace. Wine Enthusiast | 94 WEDark ruby with a magenta rim, the 2018 Syrah High Contrast Vineyard offers the darkest and broodiest nose of the range this year, with elements of teriyaki beef jerky, roasted plums and black peppercorn spice. Full-bodied, the palate is dense and chewy with a firm tannic edge, offering a gripping mineral tension and elements of blackberry skin, turned earth and worn leather. Give this another year or two in the bottle and drink until its 15th birthday. The wine rested for two years in a mixture of demi-muids and foudre. Just under 6,200 bottles were filled.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RPThere’s a simmering core of power underneath the elegant texture of this red, which unfurls slowly with blackberry, bacon fat and garrigue tones. Drink now through 2029. 516 cases made.Wine Spectator | 93 WS
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