My BonnyDoon fire sale arrived, so I tasted thru these three w/ Grayson ystrday afternoon:
1. BonnyDoon Syrah X-Block/BienNacidoVnyd/SantaMariaVlly (13.7%; 12% Viog) 2014: Dark color; beautiful olive tapenade bit roasted/Rhonish/w-c strong blackberry/Syrah/spicy light smokey/toasty/oak rather complex nose; fairly tart/tangy/bit sharp/angular strong blackberry/black cherry/Syrah/black olive tapenade/very spicy/Rhonish bit lean/tangy flavor w/ modest tangy tannins; very long tart/tangy strong blackberry/Syrah/spicy some Rhonish/black olive tapenade/w-c fairly complex finish w/ some tangy/bitey tannins; lots of Rhonish/w-c character w/ lots of c-c/Syrah character; bit on the tart/tangy side and could use another 3-5 yrs. $20.00
2. BonnyDoon Syrah X-Block/BienNacidoVnyd/SantaMariaVlly (13.5%) 2013: Dark color; stronger Syrah/blackberry/blueberry/spicy light Rhonish/roasted/w-c some complex nose; some tangy/tart strong blackberry/Syrah/blueberry/slight peppery/c-c Syrah light Rhonish/roasted fairly rich flavor w/ modest tangy/bit gritty tannins; very long/lingering strong blackberry/Syrah/spicy/bit peppery light Rhonish/w-c finish w/ some tangy tannins; much like the '14 but stronger blackberry/Syrah fruit and less complex less Rhonish character; could use a few more yrs of age. $20.00
3. BonnyDoon Syrah X-Block/BienNacidoVnyd/SantaMariaVlly (13%) 2012: Dark color; stronger yet blackberry/Syrah/spicy/boysenberry/BN black cherry bit c-c/black pepper light Rhonish/w-c/roasted/espresso quite lovely nose; rather tart/tangy/bit angular slight toasty/smokey/oak strong blackberry/Syrah/BN black cherry fairly rich bit smoother light Rhonish/w-c/roasted flavor w/ modest tangy tannins; very long/lingering strong blackberry/black cherry BN Syrah/spicy light w-c/Rhonish/espresso light smokey/oak some complex finish w/ modest tannins; shows more classic BN black cherry Syrah fruit and less w-c/Rhonish character. $20.00
A wee BloodyPulpit:
1. When the Miller's planted BienNacido, they focused on cold-climate varieties, Pinot/Chard/Riesling. These were primarily planted down on the flats where the BN vnyd leads up into the canyon, planted in 1973. The X-block was a small portion on the southern-most edge that was planted to Riesling, where the vnyd starts to rise up into the hills above. In the mid-'80's, X-Block was grafted, at the request of BobLindquist, over to Syrah, making the X-Block the 2'nd oldest Syrah planting in SBCnty. 'Tis a shame, because there were some stunning botrytis R (Thumbs Up) wines that came from X-Block. It was only later, again at Bob's request, that the Millers planted Syrah and other things up atop the ridgetops, what is now called the Hillside Block.
The X-Block Syrah goes primarily to BobLindquist and to Randall Grahm, although Morgan recently made X-Block Syrah at Bedrock (and a classic X-Block Syrah it is).
The last BonnyDoon X-Block I tried was the '09:
Originally Posted By: "Tom April 2014"

10. BonnyDoon Syrah BienNacido/X-Block/SantaMariaVlly (13.3%) 2009: Very dark color; very intense black cherry/
blackberry/Syrah/very spicy slight peppery/whole-cluster/Rhonish/roasted some smokey complex beautiful nose;
tart/tangy/structured very intense spicy/black cherry/blackberry/BienNacido Syrah slight Rhonish/whole-cluster/
peppery/smokey/roasted complex flavor w/ modest/smooth tannins; very long/lingering intense black cherry/
blackberry/Syrah/very spicy structured/tart/balanced some whole-cluster/peppery/roasted/smokey/very Rhonish
finish w/ some smooth/polished tannins; a bit more interesting & complex than the Jesperson but a stunning
Syrah the likes we haven't seen from Randall in many yrs; fairly priced at $50.00.

All three of these X-Blocks were clearly cast from the same mold. I slightly preferred the '14 because of its greater complexity and stronger Rhonish character. All three displayed a tangy/angular character on the palate that I found distracting. I would have preferred a bit more richness & texture. Perhaps age will tone down that tangy character. At the original $60/btl price, the answer on these three would be an easy "no". But at the fire sale price of $20, I thought the wines were a very good value.

Edited by TomHill (11-04-2019 16:59:47)