2018 Denner Vineyards 'Dirt Worshipper' Syrah
Paso Robles, California
98% Syrah, 1% Viognier, 1% Roussanne.
Tasting Notes: This viscerally thrilling wine explodes with aromas of olive tapenade, white pepper, violets, blackberry, and smoked paprika. Intensely mysterious flavors of açai berry, seared meats, walnuts and pomegranate lead you to believe that the wine will be rustic and backwards, but the palate is suspenseful, with a refined and linear texture that evolves to a round, supple and incredibly long finish.
Winery Info: Denner Vineyards is an estate on the far western border of the Paso Robles AVA. Founded by Ron Denner in 1999 after an exhaustive search throughout California. The 156-acre parcel presses up against the Santa Lucia Range, giving the site great diversity of elevation, aspect and soil. The estate is nestled into the Templeton Gap. Denner Vineyards currently uses 45 of the total 108 acres for their estate wine program. The remaining grapes are sold to ultra-premium producers in Paso Robles. Much of their fruit graces the wines of Villa Creek Cellars, Linne Calodo, and Justin Vineyards among others. Denner’s winemaking program is headed by Anthony Yount, a graduate of California Polytechnical University. He is amazingly talented and we are big fans of his wines.
96 points, Wine Enthusiast. "Strong aromas of cola, roasted meat, incense, black currant and cracked peppercorn kick off this bottling, which includes 1% each of Roussanne and Viognier. A rich black-currant flavor hits the palate first, then come waves of peppercorn and cocoa, all wrapped in lush yet tense tannins."
96 points, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate. "The 2018 Dirt Worshipper Syrah, blended with a 1% splash each of Roussanne and Viognier, is a stunning Syrah, with an opaque ruby-purple color and a powerhouse nose that's fierce and wild: iron, black licorice, tar, chargrill and coffee emerge along with sparks of white pepper and intense cassis-like fruit. The palate is incredible, exploding with flavor but grounded with round, plush tannins and loads of juicy uplift that carries the long finish. It evolved over many days after the cork was popped, which suggests it will age gracefully in the cellar over the next 15+ years."
96 points, Antonio Galloni's Vinous. "Deep, brilliant purple. An expansive, smoke- and spice-accented bouquet evokes fresh black/blue fruits, succulent flowers, incense and baking spices. Juicy and broad on the palate, offering deeply concentrated boysenberry, blackberry, fruitcake and violet pastille flavors that become more lively as the wine opens up. Shows fine clarity and floral thrust on a tenacious finish framed by velvety, finely knit tannins."