In the Vineyard: On the southern slope of the Bennett Valley, this vineyard has ideal aspect to the sun and is so steep that workers must be careful of the incline. It receives the sea fog from the Petaluma Gap in the evening and morning but can get hot in the afternoon. The vines are now over ten years old and are 100% Alban clone #1. If there is a better vineyard for Syrah in Sonoma County, I have not found it.
In the Winery: 25% whole-clusters were foot-tred and fermented with native yeast to 7.3 brix, then pressed to barrel to continue fermenting until dry. Racked when dry and underwent malolactic fermentation in barrel.
In the glass: Opaque, black/purple color; nose of plums, blackberries and black pepper with accents of fresh meat; much the same flavors with concentration, bright acids, velvet textures and soft tannins; long on the finish and juicy. Showing youthful but complete and can be served now; will age and develop for 5-15 years in the cellar. This wine would benefit from time in the cellar but is ready now. Twenty two months in barrel has softened the tannins and integrated the flavors. Powerful and yet full of character; the meaty black fruit quality of this vineyard shows and the black pepper note is clear. Think steak or braised meats with this one or perhaps, give cheese a try.
Varietal: 100% Syrah
Aged 22 months in 9-10 year old French oak barrels