The Kahn Retrospective

Dark garnet, heavy sediment and seriously bricking.  An exquisite bouquet of nutty sweet goodness rises up, inundating all with rich nectar of faded plumpness and shrew sarcasm of vanilla and mint.  Burnt toast and latex while an intelligent snark of out-of-date fruity jokes a tempering staccato at the flabbier mainstays of this variety and appellation.  Contoured cheekbones of earth and dead leaves and cat poop and dirty laundry and kids and mud and wet dog bring all into focus a wine which has probably seen its zenith but still wows.

The interesting part of drinking wine on the Central Coast is how few appreciate OLD wines.  I take them to events and they get poured out.  I think it is the mentality of young appellations and the attached mentality of decadent liquids in an overwhelmingly nascent approach to history.  I love old wines–granted, they have to be worthy–and most in a burgeoning wine region have little to go on in regards to older wines and the bouquet and mouth-feel is so shocking in its polish they render it *weird* and discount.  It happens a lot.  I take 10YO bottles to events and people take a sniff and move on to the region’s fat, ripe, fruit-forward blisteringly-young offerings.  This is a classic example of a wine no one would notice, while I find it wholesome, endearing and of mettle.

In the mouth, the bitter decadence defining hi-acid and balance takes a front seat.  Layers of fat leather and tobacco lay themselves at the feet of Granny-Smith fruit and toasted cedar.  A burn of alcohol tells you this is indeed Santa Barbara–and specifically: Colson Canyon.  Bright asparagus and flaccid leather vie with Carnegie Library and maraschino, telling of a wine in desperate need of consideration and–if nothing else–redemption.

This bottle is past its prime,  I’ll be the first to admit it.  But enjoyable to a fault and packed with information.  Flaccid sandpaper and lemon peel, it never allows justification to the lowest common denominator.  Dirty and gritty, it speaks of a time wines were intended for long-term beauty.  It may be brown, but that brown comes with a tactile relevance.

2002 KAHN Syrah Colson Canyon Santa Barbara Co. 14.2

Defunct: no web site to link.


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