2003 Holbrook Santa Barbara Syrah

Price: $12.99 @ K&L Wines

What They Said:

Per K&L Wines “Cory Holbrook, former winemaker and proprietor of Bridlewood Winery, makes this intense, richly fruited syrah. Full of freshly picked boyenberry, slathered in vanilla-y oak and spiced lightly with just the slighest pinch of lavender this is a wine for any fan of domestic or Australian Syrah. (Bryan Brick, K&L) 90 points

“Smart Buy” in Wine Spectator: “A forward, ripe and fleshy style, compelling for its supple mix of wild berry, boysenberry and blackberry fruit and pretty toasty oak shadings. Drink now through 2011.” (3/31/07)”

What I Think:

So K&L convinced me to buy this one when they highlighted it in their monthly news letter. I had never heard of the winemaker nor the winery mentioned so what was it that drew me to this one? Two things, I always want to try (and further more) to like wines from the Central Coast and two, I really want to like Syrah. Hmm, looks like it is pretty easy to catch my eye. So we cracked open the screwtop on this one and were hit by loads of light fruit on the nose with some woody overtones adding some spice and tannins to the bouquet. In the mouth it showed a nice, polished round structure balancing the fruit and tannins of the barrel nicely and lingering on the tongue through the finish. Finished with it that night we twisted the screwcap back on and let it sit for a few days. Wow! By day three this showed great layers of complexity! I was amazed by how a good wine had become so much more. Does it need to aged? Or does it just be open for a while? For the next three days I had small sips of this lamenting the day when they would come to an end…I even shared the last sip with a friend who likes to spend money on his wines and he was a bit surprised as he does not tend to care for syrah. Sadly that night the bottle ended.

I would love to compare this to the Columbia Crest Syrah they had at TJ’s a while back for $6.99 that I enjoyed so much. I am pretty sure this would blow it out of the water but it is always nice to have it side by side with something you consider your base line. Wish there was a way you could easily save taste of these wines so I could pull it out of the cabinet and have them side by side now….

Not sure if I will really buy this one as it is at a tricky price point for me but if the stars align I certainly wouldn’t mind finding it in the rack again…

Rating: Wow!