Saturday, March 15, 2014

Duo of Contrasting Style Syrahs - Constant Napa Valley vs Deep Sea Santa Barbara

Syrah Syrah - Duo of Contrasting Styles - Constant Napa Valley vs Deep Sea Santa Barbara

For a BYOB dinner outing at Angeli's, our local neighborhood trattoria, Bill C and I both brought Syrahs from different regions of California for an interesting comparison in appellations and terroir resulting in contrasting styles. Bill brought a Constant Diamond Mountain Syrah 2006 which we discovered and obtained during our Constant Diamond Mountain Winery visit at our Napa Wine Experience 2011. I brought the recently discovered  Deep Sea White Hawk Vineyard Santa Barbara Syrah 2008.

Constant Diamond Mountain Vineyards - Queen of Diamonds Estate - Northern Sonoma Syrah 2006

We picked up this wine during our winery visit to the spectacular Constant Vineyards property at the very top of Diamond Mountain during our 2011 Diamond Mountain Experience. Sitting at the summit at 2100 feet elevation it is the only Sonoma vineyard on Diamond Mountain.

This was smoother, more complex and more polished than the Deep Sea. The Constant exhibited dark inky purple color - medium-full bodied, nicely balanced and polished bright full flavors of blue and black fruits with a layer of ripe plum and sweet clove, hints of tea and cedar on the lingering finish. While this is tasty now, it lacks backbone and structure for longevity.

RM 90 points.



Deep Sea White Hawk Vineyard Santa Barbara Syrah 2008

As posted recently in this blog, Deep Sea is a producer in Santa Barbara that speaks of their quest to feature wines that represent "maritime influenced vineyards of merit and singularity .... their origins and the impact of California's coastal climate. California's appellations are ideally influenced throughout the growing season by the unique climes created by the Pacific Ocean. The ethereal 'fog-like wave' on the label references the focus of Deep Sea wines showcasing the impact of this natural cooling on some of California's most recognized maritime appellation. 

This was more forward and expressive than the Constant but also lacked Constant's smoothness, polish and sophistication. Also dark inky purple, this was more full bodied and a bit more concentrated with black and blue berry fruits, a layer of alcohol, tones of caramel and vanilla, turning to hints of black pepper and mint on a moderate tannin laced lingering finish.

RM 90 points.