Optik Block 11D1 Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard 2019
A seductively aromatic bouquet of black cherry with hints of blueberry, caramelized brown sugar and notes of freshly ground black pepper with delicate touches of purple flowers. On the palate, juicy and jammy with chocolate covered Acai berries, plum, tanned leather, dark roasted coffee beans, and brown spice notes with a hint of anise.
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This collaboration between Winemaker Joey Tensley and the owners of Bien Nacido Vineyard expertly combines the winemaker's rich style with the property's cool-climate fruit. Polished and pure aromas of violet, baked blackberry and milk chocolate lean into a palate that's loaded with dark, caramelized fruit and spiced with cracked pepper, teriyaki and floral flavors.
Showing inky black in the glass, with seductive blueberry and tar notes, this wine opens up to highly concentrated berry flavors with hints of mint chocolate. Huge, textured tannins join refreshing acidity before an incredibly long finish—wow! From a terraced hillside block in the steepest part of the vineyard, reaching 1,000 feet in elevation. Aged ten months in 40% new French oak.
A collaboration between the Miller Family’s Bien Nacido Vineyard and famed winemaker Joey Tensley, optik is an illustration of how venerated terroir can be masterfully and uniquely interpreted. The resulting wines are exceptional selections that convey both the essence of the vineyard and the winemaker’s signature style.
A lesser-known but elite AVA within the larger Santa Barbara district, the Santa Maria Valley AVA runs precisely west to east starting near the coast. The valley funnels cool, Pacific Ocean air to the vineyards more inland, allowing grapes a longer hang time to ripen evenly and achieve their full potential by harvest time. Combined with minimal rainfall, consistent warm sunshine, and well-drained soils, it is an ideal environment for grape growing.
Many of the wineries here are small and highly respected, having established a reputation in the 1970s and 80s for producing excellent Central Coast wines like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. More recently, Syrah has also proven quite successful in the region. Many vineyards are owned by growers who sell their grapes to other wineries, so it is common to see the same vineyard name on bottlings from different wineries. Bien Nacido Vineyard is perhaps the best-known and most prestigious.
Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah makes an intense, powerful and often age-worthy red. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah achieves its maximum potential in the steep village of Hermitage and plays an important component in the Red Rhône Blends of the south, adding color and structure to Grenache and Mourvèdre. Syrah is the most widely planted grape of Australia and is important in California and Washington. Sommelier Secret—Such a synergy these three create together, the Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre trio often takes on the shorthand term, “GSM.”