Our estate grown Syrah is composed primarily of fruit from Mitsuko’s Vineyard in cool Carneros and complimented with a small percentage of Syrah from the Dunaweal Vineyard in the warm Calistoga. Mitsuko’s Vineyard gives us cool climate Syrah with spice and fragrance, density and elegance, while the Dunaweal Vineyard fruit adds a ripe and juicy note.
Our 2009 Syrah has fruit aromas of red and black raspberries, violets, black pepper and the sauvage (wild) character associated with Syrah grown in a cooler climate, all framed by notes of cedar and sandalwood. The entry is fleshy, with a good line of mid-palate fruit and a broad, plush and satisfying texture. The wine finishes with persistent fruit and minerality, leaving a lasting impression of substance and grace.
Vineyard & Vintage Notes
A fourth consecutive winter of low rainfall characterized the beginning of the 2009 growing season. Fortunately, spring frost events were reduced in severity and number compared with the previous year, although budbreak was similarly delayed. And, while cumulative rainfall was low overall, the atypically late timing of the precipitation delayed irrigation needs, while a warm spell in June helped curtail excessive canopy development. The remainder of the summer and early autumn was steadily warm and dry, without the frequency of heat events which have proven challenging in some past vintages. These ideal growing conditions led to optimal flowering, veraison and harvest, although the mildness of the year delayed timing of these critical events in the annual cycle of the vine. This mild weather coupled with prolonged hangtime produced wines which balance freshness and richness perfectly.
All of our Syrah was harvested at night or in the early hours of the morning. After destemming and crushing, the grapes were allowed to sit cold, gently extracting color from the skins prior to the build-up of yeast and the onset of fermentation. Following a prolonged post-fermentation maceration on the skins, the Syrah was drained and pressed to barrels to complete the malolactic conversion. Each vineyard component was racked once and returned to barrels, then master blended in September of 2010 to allow the wine to knit together during additional aging. The final blend was racked to tank in March 2011 before bottling in April.