Mon 30 Jul 2012
Perhaps Bonny Doon’s Le Pousseur Syrah is thus named because it’s a trickster or con man disguised as an actual syrah-based wine from France’s Rhone Valley. I’ll say that for 2009, Le Pousseur exudes such deep earthy aromas and flavors that it feels as if it sprang from the ancient, stony soil of one of those steep Northern Rhone hillsides rather than from a selection of sites in California’s vast Central Coast appellation, including the well-known Bien Nacido Vineyards in Santa Barbara County’s Santa Maria Valley. Bonny Doon winemaker Randall Grahm also makes a single vineyard syrah from Bien Nacido.
Bonny Doon Le Pousseur Syrah 2009, Central Coast, sports a deep ruby-purple color with a dark jewel-like center that approaches motor-oil black in opacity. No mistaking what grape is the heart and soul of this wine; classic syrah aromas of black pepper, wet dog fur, blackberries and blueberries are woven with elements of briers and brambles, smoky potpourri and profound mossy-earthy qualities. In the mouth, the wine — aged in French oak — is as sleek as satin, bright and vibrant, yet slightly roughened by fine-grained tannins that dig tenaciously into the palate for an essential factor of grip and grit; both generous and focused, the ripe black and blue fruit flavors are broadly imbued with touches of exotic spices — sandalwood, allspice — lavender, bitter chocolate and graphite. This panoply is seamlessly bound by resonant acidity and a finish that extends into lithic realms. 13.5 percent alcohol. Production was 953 cases. We drank this with pork chops coated with a dry rub of cumin, chili powder and coffee spices and grilled over hardwood coals. Now through 2014 or ’15. Excellent. About $22, though you see it on the Internet as low as $18.
A sample for review.