TASTING NOTES & FOOD PAIRINGS
The compelling nose of this deeply colored syrah features fragrant aromas of dark plum, cassis, blackberry and blueberry, complemented by hints of roasted earth and licorice. Fresh, sleek and impeccably balanced on the palate, with a wonderful texture and perfectly integrated tannins, it delivers deeply concentrated dark cherry, blackberry and plum compote flavors that culminate in a long, racy finish featuring savory spice and mineral tones. Delicious now, this lush, intensely varietal syrah will develop additional complexity with another 5-7 years' aging.
The fruit for this superb, single-vineyard syrah comes from our Suscol Springs Ranch in southeastern Napa Valley, a hilly, cool and windy site boasting rocky, well-drained soils and ideal southern and western exposures. We have five top-flight clones of the noble syrah variety planted at Suscol Springs, all originating in France's northern Rhone Valley, the grape's ancestral home. This clonal variation, coupled with the singular attributes of our vineyard, enables us to craft a fresh, vibrant syrah boasting rich fruit flavors balanced by bright acidity.
2014 was another in a series of excellent vintages in northern California. The season began with a warm, dry spring, which led to early bud-break and trouble-free vine flowering and grape set. Summer was consistently mild with few heat spikes, which allowed our syrah grapes to ripen slowly and evenly, developing impressively concentrated flavors. Given the early start to the growing season, our syrah harvest began several weeks earlier than normal, with the grapes picked between September 22nd and 30th.
We harvest each of our syrah clones separately and ferment them in small open-top fermenters. (In 2014, we co-fermented one of the clonal lots with a small percentage of viognier - added as whole clusters - an aromatic white variety frequently blended with syrah in the Northern Rhone to enhance texture and add a pleasing floral tone to syrah's ripe berry, earth and spice aromas.) Prior to fermentation, we cold soak the must for four to six days to maximize color extraction and soften tannins. During fermentation, we daily punch down the cap of skins at the top of the fermenting tanks to thoroughly macerate the skins and juice for optimal color and flavor while closely monitoring tannin levels. Once fermentation completes, we drain the free-run juice by gravity and transfer the wines to French oak barrels (49% new in 2014) where it ages for a total of 15 months prior to bottling.
- Grape Variety
- 99.5% syrah, 0.5% viognier
- Alcohol Content
- 100% Napa Valley, 100% estate
- Total Acidity
- 0.64 grams/100 ml
- Harvest Dates
- September 22 - 30, 2014
- Barrel Aging
- 15 months in 49% new French oak
- Julianne Laks