Wine of the Week: Bonny Doon Bien Nacido “X-Block” Santa Maria Valley Syrah 2008

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Bonny Doon Bien Nacido “X-Block” Santa Maria Valley Syrah 2008:  Gloria in excelsius Syrah!  The phenomal Bonny Doon Bien Nacido “X-Block” Santa Maria Valley Syrah 2008 captures the most delicious attributes of this variety, and is a must find for all Syrah lovers.  Dark ruby with a brilliant sheen.  Broadcasts enticing aromas of blackberries, black cherries, fur, grilled beef, cookie dough, iodine, eucalyptus and freshly shredded mint, white pepper, and soil.  With aeration, the nose becomes meatier and more sauvage, and turns resolutely towards the umami end of the spectrum (think toasted sesame seeds, iodine, and dried seaweed).  Exquisitely balanced, with soft tannins that belie the grip on the palate, this mid-weight effort improves in the fridge over the course of four days.  A stunner of a Syrah that is drinking exceedingly well at present, and is pleasantly devoid of any reductive elements.  One of my favorite Syrahs tasted in 2011, from anywhere in the world, this is surely a wine to purchase by the case.  13.9% alc.  $42  Drink now-2018.  (93)         

www.bonnydoonvineyard.com

Salcheto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2007

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Salcheto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2007:  This Salcheto bottling is the rare Vino Nobile that evinces a potential for ”noble ageing,” and drinks as well now as it will through the end of the decade.  Dark ruby with faint glycerin lines.  Exudes a complex bouquet of wild berries, black cherries, kirsch, iris, and balsam.  Great acidity on the attack, where the flavors are well integrated and the texture smoother than expected.  Some bark and mushroom notes come through on the midpalate.  Medium- to full-bodied, with a refined, dry finish.  Pairs equally well with steak as it does with pasta and red sauces.  From the Prugnolo Gentile clone of Sangiovese.  If you love aged Sangiovese (think great Chianti Classico Riserva and Brunello), I highly recommend purchasing six bottles of this, and drinking 3 now and 3 over the next decade.  Your patience will be rewarded.  13.5% alc.  $35  Drink now-2019.  (91+) 

www.salcheto.it