I’ve written about Von Holt before and just to give a quick reminder, they are a husband and wife team who live in San Carlos and along with their winemaker John Fones make cool-climate style wines from Northern California. I was intrigued by this Bennett Valley Syrah as I’ve had some spectacular Syrahs from there recently.
First, this wine has a bit of oak that comes off on the nose. It blows off a bit after a while which actually surprised me because it seems like oak almost never dissipates. A little time open on the counter did wonders for allowing the character of this wine to show up — and show off. The most present aroma I got right off the bat is not something that one normally gets on California Syrah and for some might be a turn off: aromas of celery and pepper. Yes, not exactly a home run for most California wine drinkers but for me, those aromas have a direct connection to the Northern Rhone wines that I love. There’s also some dark cherry aromas. On the palate this wine is not too rich with a good amount of acid, and on the finish there’s a nice bite of tannin and acidity.
This is good stuff and worth seeking out.