Textbook Small-Lot Syrah

Today’s Story: Nicora Wines

Nicora Wines was established by Nick Elliott and its name is a combination of his own name and his great-grandfather’s name, Ora. Nick’s great-grandfather utilized his entrepreneurial spirit to turn a passion into his own business, which inspired Nick to follow his own dream of creating a winery. No stranger to hard work and dedication to one’s craft, Nick very deliberately selects the vineyards sourcing his fruit and his winemaking philosophy is rooted in the idea that great care and tireless effort is required to make quality small-lot wines. All of Nick’s wines are produced using Rhone varieties, both in single bottlings and blends, and he is highly involved in the vineyards thanks to close contact and relationships with each vineyard owner. Working in incredible Central Coast vineyards from Paso Robles to Santa Maria, Nick sources fruit from Bien Nacido Vineyard, Denner Vineyard, La Vista Vineyard, Russell Family Vineyard, Shadow Canyon Vineyard, and Slide Hill Vineyard. For more detailed descriptions of each, check out the Nicora website here.

Today’s Wine: 2012 Shadow Canyon Vineyard Syrah

100% Syrah; 15.2% ABV

The 2012 Shadow Canyon Syrah is opaque deep purple/ruby in color and there is some moderate sediment buildup in the bottle. This takes at least an hour to open up, but once it does the nose showcases aromas of blackberry, black cherry, blueberry, violet, smoke, licorice, black pepper, vanilla bean, and toasted oak. Once in the mouth, the wine displays notes of black plum, blackberry, cherry cola, graphite, tobacco, loamy earth, lavender, coffee grounds, chocolate, and baking spice. This Syrah is full-bodied with medium (+) acidity, medium dusty tannins, and a long finish with notes of inky black fruit and wet rock. 144 cases produced.

Price: $50. This is a delicious Central Coast Syrah that portrays the variety with charm. Though I was worried this might show some heat with its 15.2% ABV, the wine actually drank quite enjoyably. This will be tough to find unless you’re on the mailing list, but if you happen across a bottle it’s worth checking out. Pair this with braised beef, barbecue spare ribs, or roasted leg of lamb.

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