Sinor-La Vallee San Luis Obispo Syrah 2012: Few Central Coast success stories are as satisfying as the hard work-meets-smart moves saga of Michael Sinor, whose eyes were opened to San Luis Obispo County’s Edna Valley as a Cal Poly student in 1991 and haven’t blinked since, with top score-snagging gigs at Domaine Alfred (now Chamisal Vineyards) and Ancient Peaks, which he helped start.
Though a county designate, this syrah from his personal label is mostly from Bassi Ranch, the ocean view vineyard between 101 and Avila Beach that Sinor took over this year, and its utterly cool climate character sings white pepper, marinated olive, and tart cranberry. Expect Sinor’s production — which has been focused mostly on unforgettably tasty pinot noir and hovering for more than a decade around a scant 400 cases — to grow slowly in both varietal (think albarino, pinot gris, chardonnay, etc.) and amount (perhaps approaching 2,500 cases one day). Meanwhile, look out for a tasting room in the near future on the road to Avila as well.