I think this is the best Bien Nacido we have made. Picked on October 18th at 21.9 brix, this site continues to blow my mind with the levels of full physiological maturity it can reach at such low potential alcohols. As usual, we split the fruit between multiple small open-top oak tanks with varying levels of whole-cluster inclusion ranging from 20-100%. The finished wine is a blend of the lots with average cluster inclusion at about 60%, all raised in neutral and nearly neutral demi-muids. The aromatics here are a celestial navigation of pepper and pig fat and violets that go vroom. I must admit that each time we make this wine, I unconsciously rate it against the great wines old friend Bob Lindquist made from this block for Qupe for many years (he is the reason the block was top worked to Syrah back in 1987). Though "Ode to Bob" doesn't quite have the sonorous ring to accompany such a euphonic wine, it would be apropos, as I think this wine is one he would recognize and be very pleased with (and when we send him some, we shall find out if this is true!!).
The 2019 Syrah Bien Nacido X Block is a dense, layered wine that captures all the pedigree of this Santa Barbara site. Inky blue/purplish fruit, sage, black pepper, rose petal and blood orange open with a bit of coaxing. The 2019 is not especially forthcoming today. It will need at least a few years in bottle to truly shine. Even so, it is immensely promising today.