A very special Syrah — one with a beautiful spring bouquet with touches of cedar and sweet wood. Black currants, blackberries, and rich spices linger on the pallet finishing with a hint of vanilla. Ripe and delicious red.
Syrah is one of those unsung varietals that can be found the world over. It is a grape that can thrive in extreme heat changes, yet continue to be balanced and subtle. A very close friend of ours grows this Syrah in the northern part of the valley on a vineyard that he usually reserves for his own wine, but was nice enough to share some of the fruit with us.
The vineyard from which this fruit comes can be found on the eastern side of the Silverado Trail just north of St. Helena. It is located near Bale Lane, where the valley floor begins to slope up the base of the mountains. Being in the shadow of the mountains allows continuous cool shade throughout the morning hours, and then direct sunlight during the afternoon heat, allowing for the balanced ripening of both acids and tannins.
The 2005 growing season was a winemakers dream, though he may not have realized it at the time. An unseasonably cool and rainy spring set the stage for the grapes to achieve optimal acid and juice qualities. This was followed by a mild summer that allowed for slow ripening of the skins and the achievement of complex, soft tannins.