2015 Purity Syrah 'Blue Licorish' Oakstone Vineyard
Region: Nevada County < California
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming; light red clay over granite soils at 1800 feet elevation; foot-stomped and fermented whole cluster in an open top fermenter, then 26 months in huge, old wooden casks; bottled unfined/unfiltered with 15ppm added SO2; 125 cases; 13% ABV
Winemaker: Noel Diaz
Noel Diaz is one of California’s natural winemakers on the rise. And he’s not just calling it in. He farms two of the five vineyards he works with himself, makes the wine, then bottles, labels, and delivers the wine by hand. Everything he works with is organic, and many of his wines get no added sulfur, and all are squeaky clean – no faults, no funk – and reflective of their place. Noel is a poetic writer, so we’ll let him describe this Syrah: “boy, the blueberries, the bay, fennel -- it’s like a warm cozy comforter by the fireplace on a cold night. It spent something like 26 months in barrel. It’s dark, but not heavy, it unfolds over time like passages in a great piece of writing. I’m so smitten with this one, it’s kind of exotic with all that spice, but then it’s got these cocoa powder tannins. Blue, every time I drink it the image of blue comes to mind. I don’t know if I’d be able to peg it as Syrah in a blind tasting -- that characteristic is there, but very subtle. Blue, that’s the best way to describe this wine, blue, herbaceous, powdery, layered.” His description is spot on -- this is blueberry juice. Forget what you know and expect in Syrah, and drink this. Mind-blowingly good.