2017 The Paring Syrah, Santa Ynez Valley
The Santa Ynez Valley is a picturesque piece of Santa Barbara County known for Pinot Noir. However it also receives acclaim for some of the wines made from Rhône varieties, like The Paring Syrah.
A second label from winemaker Matt Dees
You may not be familiar with The Paring name but if you’re a fan of Santa Barbara wines, then you’re likely to know her big sister, Jonata. A favorite among collectors, Jonata is considered one of California’s most exciting wineries right now.
Both Jonata and The Paring wines are made by winemaker Matt Dees. But unlike the Jonata wines, which come with a collection-worthy price tag, The Paring wines are bargain priced by Santa Barbara standards.
How do they do it? Well, The Paring uses grapes that are deemed “unsuitable” for the Jonata style. (Often they come from vineyards that are very young.) Rather than selling off these grapes, Dees puts energy into turning them into wines for us average folks. The resulting wines are crafted with the same skill as those of Jonata, but at about 1/5 the price.
My review of the 2017 The Paring Syrah
The 2017 The Paring Syrah is a well-structured wine. The first word that comes to mind when I taste it is impressive. It was aged for 22 months in French oak, 35% of it new.
It is a generous wine with aromas of blackberries, black pepper and the scent of wild mushrooms growing in wet earth. On the palate, the wine dances back and forth between sweet, dark fruits and more earthy, vegetal notes. It’s smooth and delightfully easy to drink with its fine grained tannins. But watch out, its 14.9% alcohol will sneak up on you when you least expect it.
Although at $25, the wine may be a little out of the every day drinking category for many of you. However, it is one of the best value wines I’ve tried in a long time. Think of it as the wine you open to add elegance to a barbecue or to make Friday night feel a little more special than the rest of the week. Unfortunately, Dees only produced 530 cases of this stunner so if you want to stock up on one of the best value Syrahs you could hope to find, you’d better do it before it’s too late.
The wine is distributed to several retailers who ship, or you can purchase The Paring Syrah directly from the winery.
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