' Ken Brown - Wines

2016 Thompson Vineyard Syrah

Stunning, full-bodied Syrah from the new Alisos Canyon AVA. Notes of plum, blueberry compote and smoked meat. Only 85 cases produced.
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$60.00 per Bottle


This Syrah offers superb, full-bodied aromatics and flavors. Vibrant aromas of dark plum, blueberry compote and smoked meat are complemented by hints of cracked black pepper and vanilla. The flavors are bold and rich with accents of black raspberry, ripe plum, baking spices and a touch of cola. Velvety, well-balanced tannins span the wine from beginning to end, culminating in a remarkably long, opulent finish. Noted for its exceptional ageability, this Thompson Vineyard Syrah will continue to develop complexity and richness for a decade or more.

Vineyard Designation

Thompson Vineyard

Vineyard Notes

100% Thompson Vineyard, Los Alamos Valley. Planted in the late 1980s, Thompson Vineyard has a well-deserved reputation for outstanding Syrah. The vineyard is planted along the slopes of Alisos Canyon in the Los Alamos Valley, a relatively cool appellation, located between Santa Maria and Buellton in Santa Barbara County. Vines are planted on their own rootstock to the highly regarded Estrella clone. Soils are low nutrient sandy loam, which helps restrict yields and promote vineyard expression.

Production Notes

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. Syrah grapes from Thompson Vineyard were harvested on November 2.

Winemaker Notes

This Syrah was crafted using an adaptation of Australian winemaking techniques, which focuses on extraction early in the fermentation process to bring out the best expression of the grape and minimize the risk of harsh tannins. The grapes were crushed into tanks and given a four-day cold soak. The Syrah was pressed shortly after the conclusion of fermentation, and aged for 17 months in French oak barrels with 33% new oak in the mix. The wine was bottled on May 10, 2018.
Vintage 2016
Wine Style Red Wine
Varietal 100% Syrah
Appellation Santa Barbara County
Acid 6.15 g/L
PH 3.48
Alcohol % 14.6
Size 750 ml