The 2018 Syrah presents lush, jammy aromas of violets and black plum with cool-climate varietal notes of smoked game. Flavors of black cherry and cedar are layered with appealing earth tones and hints of tobacco. Savory black pepper notes emerge on a velvety finish.
The 35-acre Brick Barn estate vineyard lies just north of the Santa Ynez River in a largely unexplored winegrowing corridor near the city of Buellton in the western Santa Ynez Valley. Here, persistent sun exposure ensures ripe flavors, while the Pacific Ocean—just 10 miles away—delivers daily cooling that maintains fruit acidity and structure. The 2017 Syrah finds harmony and complexity as a blend of two estate blocks—Block 8 (Clone 1), which produces dark fruit with robust tannins; and Block 14 (Clone 470) which yields a lighter character and red fruit tones. These blocks are planted along an upper highland at an elevation of 550 feet, where rocky loam and limestone soils provide ideal conditions for classic Rhône varieties.
After night harvesting, the fruit was destemmed and cold soaked for three days to initiate a gentle extraction of color and flavor. The wine was then fermented in small open-top bins with twice daily punchdowns. In the classic Côte-Rôtie style, Viognier whole clusters (totaling five percent of the wine) were added into the fermentation bins to add lift to the palate and aroma profile. After gentle pressing, the lots were settled and racked to French oak barrels, where they aged for 20 months. Thirty percent of the barrels featured new wood to accentuate the wine with hints of sweet spice and toasted oak.
Syrah excels at our estate vineyard, where we cultivate two small blocks totaling just 2.4 acres. Our ocean-cooled terroir invokes a Northern Rhône character in our Syrah fruit, with a balance of rich flavors, savory spices and fine structure.