2016 "A" Cuvee Syrah
2016 "A" Cuvee Syrah
A blend of two Los Alamos Valley vineyards—51% Watch Hill and 49% Thompson. Rich, juicy flavors and plush texture.
This wine showcases the beautiful aromatics and flavors found in cool climate Syrah. The wine leads with rich, concentrated aromas of black raspberry and blackberry jam along with accents of cranberry, sage and vanilla bean. Vibrant flavors of juicy blackberry and plum are enveloped in a luxurious mouthfeel and velvety tannins, which are exquisitely balanced by bright natural acidity. The plush texture and complex profile will only be enhanced with additional time in the cellar.
51% Watch Hill Vineyard and 49% Thompson Vineyard. Both Watch Hill and Thompson vineyards are located in the Los Alamos Valley of Santa Barbara County, a moderately cool appellation that consistently produces outstanding Syrah. Watch Hill was established in 2002 and features low nutrient soils, which keep cluster size small and contributes to the striking dark color and rich concentration of the wines. Thompson Vineyard was planted in the late 1980s along the slopes of Alisos Canyon. Vines are planted on their own rootstock to the highly regarded Estrella clone, which is expressed in the deep concentration and bold flavors of the fruit.
The vintage began with unseasonably warm weather in February, which was moderated by cold nighttime temperatures, suppressing budbreak until early March. While limited winter rainfall was disappointing, the timing was advantageous. Most precipitation fell January through March, allowing flowering and set to occur without the threat of damage. The rest of the harvest season saw cooler temperatures alternate with short warmer spells, which helped winemakers target optimum ripening of the fruit. Grapes were harvested from Watch Hill on September 13 and Thompson on October 11.
This Syrah was crafted using an adaptation of Australian winemaking techniques focused on extraction early in the fermentation process, minimizing the risk of harsh tannins. The grapes were crushed into tanks and given a four-day cold soak. At the conclusion of fermentation, the lots were pressed immediately and aged separately for 19 months in French oak barrels with 25% new oak in the mix. The lots were then blended and bottled on May 10, 2018.
||Santa Barbara County