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san luis obispo county

Hounds, unreleased

[esj bassetti]Edmunds St. John 2001 Syrah Bassetti (San Luis Obispo County) — The reason I work out: I want to be old enough, one day, to say that I’ve had an ESJ made from syrah or the Southern Rhône grapes that was over the hill. Leather and dried blackberry jerky, powdery soil, firm structure, but mostly just about force without excess. Let it age. (7/16)

Release the hounds

Edmunds St. John 2005 Syrah Bassetti (San Louis Obispo County) – Something I thought I might never taste: a mature Bassetti. Well, mature-ish. OK, not mature at all. There’s certainly no hurry. If there’s any benefit to Old World analogues, this is the Hermitage versus some of Steve’s less hyper-masculine syrahs, but it’s important to stress that it doesn’t actually taste anything like Hermitage; the only real commonality is the firmness of its structure, which is still quite evident. Otherwise, the dark fruit has roasted into soy-drizzled walnuts and dark herbs, porcini dust plays a role, and the lingering impression is one of persistent solidity. Very, very impressive. (11/11)

The search for intelligent bass

Edmunds St. John 2005 Syrah Bassetti (San Luis Obispo County) – Smoked salt on meat and fresh blueberry. Flawlessly poised, medium-bodied now vs. other Bassettis, but absolutely bubbling with potential. This will take a long time to unfold, and an even longer time to develop, but it should be a stunner when it does. (2/08)

Bassetti hound

[vineyard]Edmunds St. John 2003 Syrah Bassetti (San Luis Obispo County) – At long last, some of this wine’s most muscular attributes show signs of taming. I wouldn’t call it civilization, because it’s still a hulking brooder; it’s just that the fruit (classic meat/leather/black fruit syrah) is a little more accessible behind the thick, fleshy wall of tannin. In recent tastings, this wine has been so structure-dominated that I’ve been tempted to call it imbalanced, but now – as it ages – the balance is clearer. And with clarity, comes the inevitable patience: based on the evidence, this isn’t going to be mature anytime soon. Anytime soon. Stick it in a dark corner of the cellar…though in front of the 2005s, which will probably live forever. (12/07)