Babcock Identity Crisis

Faubourg Wines

Babcock Identity Crisis
  • $15.50

This wine is having a bit of a meltdown. It doesn’t quite know what it wants to be. On the one hand, it is Syrah and it is in a dark green bottle. If you just grab it off the shelf without studying it, you might think it’s a red wine; until you get it home and pull the cork. That’s when you start looking in the yellow pages for a wine psychologist. Or, you look up my number in order to complain, which, yes, has actually happened. What is it? I guess it could be rosé. But it’s really more orange than pink. And it certainly doesn’t exude that typical, tutti-frutti pink wine thing. Why is that? Probably because I put it through what no self respecting winemaker would ever put a rosé through, namely a complete malolactic fermentation. I like to call it complexity, all that creamy, buttery goodness that malolactic brings to a freak show like this; let’s face it, it’s definitely adding to the confusion. You know, with its slightly coppery hue, it does look a little bit like a Blanc de Noir, i.e. Champagne or sparkling wine made from red grapes . . . except . . . there aren’t any bubbles. And the wine is not crisp; it’s actually kind of fat. Hmmmm. Remember that hideous generation in winemaking that took off about 20 years ago in response to the glut of Zinfandel that was out there? White Zin it was called. The wines were sterile, bleached out, thin and sweet. If they had any fruitiness, it was largely due to blending in something aromatic, like Muscat. Oh my gosh! Is this wine a White Syrah!? Well, not really; it’s bone dry and has no residual sugar, and it has those sort of creamy tones from the malolactic laced into its delicate, perplexing nectarine/watermelon fruit with a hint of cinnamon. As it sits in the glass, it develops this sensual texture on the palate, and it’s all really quite beautiful; but when was the last time you experienced something like this in a Syrah? With any grape? I had a buddy in college. He was at McGeorge in Sacramento study

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