We discovered both the Onx Reckoning 2017 and 2018 during our January road trip which included a tasting appointment with the sales manager Christopher Bennett at the winery’s Tin City tasting room. We gladly purchased Onx’s remaining five cases of its 2017 which instantly sold out upon our return to the store. However, we have been waiting patiently for the 2018 Onx Reckoning which we actually preferred. Below is a photograph I took of just some of the wines we sample which included both vintages of the Reckoning.
The 2018 Onx Reckoning is a stunning proprietary red blend of Syrah 67%, Petite Sirah 31%, Zinfandel 2% which simply OVER DELIVERS in every way! Immediate roasted dark coffee and chocolate aromas bound from the glass, no doubt born from the sultry and smokey 470 clone of Syrah from the ONX Estate. The seamless, and surprisingly drinkable 2018 Reckoning is packed with ripe bramble black and blue berry fruit. Even with an alcohol level of 15.4%, the wine is still in balanced and boasting the potential for continued longevity. The Reckoning is uniquely successful for the Paso region’s unusually cool and wet 2018 vintage which produced a rife of “drink-young” wines.
But then Syrah adapts so well to cooler weather, and helps explain why this densely layered wine has an underlying spicy-floral edge, savory “meat” complexity, balancing acidity. The Petite Sirah offers depth and base for the Syrah, while the Zinfandel assist with a bright spicy burst of fruit expression on the nose.
The Syrah was destemmed whole berry to two stainless steel tanks, one co-fermented with 20% Petite Sirah the other 100% of 470 clone Syrah. After 3 days of cold soak, they were macerated on skins for another 17 days, receiving two pump-overs per day, before pressing. Petite Sirah harvested about a week later was destemmed whole berry to a concrete tank and macerated for 12 days before pressing, receiving two pump-overs or punch-downs per day.
19 months in a mix of 500L and 225L French oak barrels, about 40% of which was new. Underwent a natural malolactic fermentation before being racked. Blended and returned to barrel in July of 2019 and bottled in Spring of 2020.
“Very dark in the glass, this blend of 67% Syrah, 31% Petite Sirah and 2% Zinfandel shows iodine and lamb aromas on the nose alongside charred black currant and hickory smoke. Those gamy, roasted qualities swirl throughout the sip, where firm acidity and a pinch of herbs complete the experience.” – 94 points, Wine Enthusiast, Matt Kettmann