2008 Sonoma County Syrah
2008 Sonoma County Syrah: I have two big reasons for making this wine but they both stem from the same basic fact: things have never been worse in the sales realm for Syrah. The reasons for it are long and much-debated, and I certainly have my own opinions, but that does not really matter here. What matters is that I was probably overly optimistic in purchasing Syrah fruit in 2008, and now I have a lot of great wine that I do not think I can sell for $30-$40 dollars a bottle. I mean, great juice from great sites, but it is hard to sell Syrah when retailers and sommeliers alike will not even taste the stuff because they do not think they can sell it. So, instead of putting a bunch of vineyard designated Syrah out on the market that will be a pain sell (and then be discounted to $18 a bottle), I have decided to make an absolutely killer bottle of $18 Syrah to start with. I also feel that some of the Syrah malaise is due to the very few quality, under $20, Syrahs out there.
So, what’s in the bottle? The backbone of the wine comes from Bald Mountain Vineyard. Located at 2000’ feet on Sonoma side of Mount Veeder, the vines are dry-farmed and yield puny amounts of super-concentrated fruit. To this I added a puncheon of highly perfumed juice from Lauterbach Hill Vineyard in the Russian River Valley, a couple barrels of Glenlyon Vineyard on the backside of Sonoma Mountain, a barrel each of clone 877 from Kick Ranch and Old Lakeville Vineyards, along with a splash from Wildcat Mountain Vineyard. All the lots were fermented with whole-clusters (25-80%), native yeasts, and were manually punched-down and basket pressed. The final wine saw about 20% new French oak, but the exact amount is hard to calculate (what does a puncheon count as?). The final wine is elegant, food-friendly, spicy, and perfumed. It is the St. Joseph of the Bedrock line-up—delicious, nutritious, and affordable!
Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar, May/Jun 10
($18) Inky ruby. Pungent, high-pitched aromas of black fruits, pepper and spices; this could only be syrah. Then high-pitched and juicy in the mouth, with a penetrating quality to the sappy black raspberry and floral flavors. This spicy, vibrant wine finishes quite long, with lingering perfume and easygoing tannins. Drinking well now and a steal at its price.
250 cases made
$18 | Sold Out.