Rich, Concentrated, and Insanely Complex Central Coast Syrah

Today’s Story: Andremily Wines

Andremily Wines is a relatively young but very highly regarded producer established in 2012 by winemaker Jim Binns and his wife Rachel. Jim fell in love with winemaking while studying at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, also developing his passion for Rhône varieties by working with a number of small producers in California’s Central Coast. After he graduated, Jim joined the incredibly talented Manfred Kankl of cult producer Sine Qua Non. Jim spent twelve vintages with Sine Qua Non, honing his craft as one of Manfred’s prodigies as cellar master, before he and Rachel ultimately followed through on their dream by starting Andremily. Andremily is named as a combination of Andrew and Emily, their children, and Jim focuses on Syrah, Mourvèdre, Grenache, and Viognier sourced from incredible sites including Bien Nacido, Alta Mesa, Larner, and White Hawk Vineyards. With low yields and insane attention to detail in all aspects of winemaking, Jim produces a flagship Syrah, a Mourvèdre, a Grenache, and a Rhône blend named EABA under the Andremily label.

Today’s Wine: 2013 Syrah No. 2

85% Syrah, 11% Mourvèdre, 4% Viognier; 15.2% ABV

The 2013 Syrah No. 2 is deep ruby in color and nearly black at its core. I decanted this for an hour and drank it over the following 2-3 hours. The aromas are of pronounced intensity, with the nose showcasing notes of blackberry compote, blueberry, black plum, black cherry, black licorice, violet, sweet tobacco, incense, smoked meat, gingerbread, cracked black pepper, black olive, graphite, vanilla, and baking spice. Flavors are also of pronounced intensity, and the palate displays notes of crème de cassis, rich black plum, wild blueberry, blackberry purée, black raspberry, black cherry, sweet tobacco, anise, violet, smoked game, green peppercorn, cinnamon, gunsmoke, sandalwood, chocolate, and coffee grounds. This dry red is full-bodied with medium acidity, medium but well-integrated tannins, high alcohol, and a long finish. Outstanding quality and insanely concentrated and rich. Still drinking pretty youthful but very well-balanced, especially given the ABV. While a tad rich for my personal palate, I still won’t be able to refrain from purchasing more.

Price: $250 (I paid $200 and allocation is closer to $100 I think). Market pricing on a value perspective is a little steep on these wines, I think thanks largely to their incredible reception by the press and consumers coupled with rather small production. I am patiently waiting on the waiting list, though, because at release pricing this is pretty solid value.

If this wine seems like something you might enjoy, you may find this link helpful in locating it.