Alban Patrina Alban Estate Syrah 2016

Alban Patrina Alban Estate Syrah 2016

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Patrin is a gypsy word for leaf and grass blades. The winery wanted a gypsy association for this wine because it is not a wine from a ‘place’ so much as one shaped by the winery's traditions and joys. Gypsies have a very strong and romantic culture, but they are not tied to any particular location.

By mounding up patrin in specific configurations called Patrina, Gypsies mark secret trails that fellow clan members can follow to special gathering places. Patrina guide these nomads to the site of what starts out as a simple get together underscored with wine and song. These bohemian celebrations of nothing in particular inevitably escalate with great abandon into wildly hedonistic carousing.

Alban vineyards are a patchwork of isolated soil types that you may recognize as Reva, Lorraine, Seymour’s and Pandora (very much wines of a place). Between and in route to these well healed sites are vineyards that are not so obviously distinct. The winery has blended these disparate and ‘disenfranchised’ blocks into a single wine they call Patrina. Like the Gypsy trails from which Patrina derives its name, they hope these bottles lead you to some great merriment, or more.

While the grapes for Patrina are raised with the same detail and attentiveness as the rest of their vineyards, and then fermented open top with indigenous yeast, gentle pump overs and a few punch downs once soft, it is bottled unfined and unfiltered after ‘just’ 22 months in barrel to preserve its youthful exuberance. All the density and concentration folks have come to expect from the winery's reds with black and blue fruits, mineral notes, and flowers.
Wine Spectator: 92
Precise and tightly focused, with a vibrant backbone of lively acidity and tannins, cloaked in boysenberry, stony mineral and smoked pepper flavors that build tension on the finish. Best from 2021 through 2030. 1,600 cases made.
Wine Advocate: 95
The 2016 Syrah Patrina, made of 100% Syrah, has a deep ruby-purple color. The nose opens slowly—and it's worth the wait—opening to very pure aromas of wild blackberries, crushed black cherries, mint leaves, brewed coffee, cracked pepper and violets, giving up more and more nuances with time in the glass. The palate is full-bodied and intense but equally fresh and lifted, finishing very long. This is still youthfully wound, and I expect it may get even better with a few years in bottle.