The 2020 Syrah presents warm aromas of red cherry, plum and spice with accents of dried herbs. A jammy, sumptuous texture offers rounded flavors of cherry, blueberry, cinnamon and toasted oak with trailing notes of white pepper and mocha. Juicy acidity and plump tannins converge on a smooth, structured 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. The 2020 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. Here, rocky loam and limestone soils provide ideal conditions for classic Rhône varieties. Persistent sun exposure ensures ripe flavors, while the Pacific Ocean—just 10 miles away—delivers daily cooling that maintains fruit acidity and structure.
After night harvesting, the fruit was destemmed and cold soaked for five days to initiate a gentle extraction of color and flavor. The wine was then fermented in a mix of small open-top bins and tanks, with two punchdowns and one pumpover performed daily for balanced extraction and aeration. In the classic Côte-Rôtie style, a small lot of whole-cluster Viognier (10%) was incorporated into the fermentation to intensify the color and lift to the aroma profile. After gentle pressing, the lots were settled and racked to French (90%) and American (10%) oak barrels, where they aged for 20 months. Forty percent of the barrels featured new oak to accentuate the wine with hints of sweet spice and toasted oak. The French oak imparted subtle toasted oak structure, while the complement of American oak layered in sweeter notes of vanilla and baking spice.
French oak: subtle toasted oak flavors
American oak: more sweetness
Food Pairing Notes
The 2020 Syrah makes an excellent match for winter beef stews, rosemary pork chops, mushroom casserole and grilled lamb with herbes de Provençe.
The ocean-cooled climate, elevated exposures and rocky soils of the Brick Barn estate are ideal for growing Syrah. This distinctive terroir imparts a Northern Rhône-style character to the fruit, with rich flavors, luscious acidity, light spice and fine structure—the hallmarks of world-class Syrah.