2018 "A" Cuvée Syrah
2018 "A" Cuvée Syrah
Rich, concentrated aromas of blueberry jam, blackberry and plum with accents of chocolate and eucalyptus.
This luscious wine blends warmer climate Syrah from Happy Canyon with cooler climate Syrah from Alisos Canyon for a superbly integrated and balanced wine. The wine leads with rich, concentrated aromas of blueberry jam, ripe blackberry and black plum along with accents of chocolate, eucalyptus and cedar. Vibrant flavors of juicy blackberry and plum are highlighted by hints of violets and mint, which culminate in a lingering finish and touch of spice. The plush texture and complex profile will only be enhanced with additional time in the cellar.
71% McGinley Vineyard and 29% Watch Hill Vineyard. McGinley Vineyard is located in the Happy Canyon AVA of eastern Santa Ynez Valley, a traditional Syrah-growing zone that enjoys a relatively warm microclimate due to its inland position. The Syrah grapes were picked along with a small amount of Viognier and were co-fermented, a Rhône tradition that adds a touch of brightness and floral notes to the finished Syrah. Watch Hill Vineyard is a moderately cool site, located in the newly established Alisos Canyon appellation in closer proximity to the coast where cool days and nights prevail.
The 2018 vintage was our latest harvest since 2012. Late rains in March were well-timed and budbreak occurred about two weeks later than recent averages. Temperatures throughout the spring and summer remained cool. Nighttime temperatures were consistently chilly as well, in the low to mid-50s, ideal for retaining the natural acidity in the grapes. Canopies were healthy and well positioned to go the distance to ripen the fruit. Berries were small, and yields were customarily low, resulting in excellent concentration and intensity in the fruit. Grapes were harvested from Watch Hill Vineyard on October 20 and McGinley Vineyard on October 22.
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 15 months in French oak barrels with 12% new oak in the mix. The lots were then blended and bottled on March 4, 2020.
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