ESTATE VINEYARD: Benchland Syrah planted in 1991, Winery blocks Grenache Noir and Syrah planted in 1998, Primitivo planted in 1998.

BLEND: 62% Syrah, 25% Grenache, 13% Primitivo

HARVEST: September 15-30, 2020

WINEMAKING: Destemmed and fermented with native yeast in small, open-top tanks. Aged in French Oak Barrels. 30% new.

BOTTLED: February 2, 2022
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100% Syrah
17 MO. 35% New French Oak
275 Cases
In Texas, they say “Dance with the one who brung you.” Well, we’ve been dancing with Syrah from this vineyard since 1995…and we’re still not tired of it.
It’s funny how certain personalities, performers, artists, writers resonate with people. One of our favorite comedians, Norm MacDonald, recently passed away. Norm’s humor was not for everyone. However, if you were a fan, you wholeheartedly agreed with David Letterman’s take - “There are better comedians, but nobody was funnier than Norm.”
In today’s sophisticated California wine market, it seems Syrah grown in cool climate regions (where Pinot Noir is located) is garnering most of the press. This makes sense, since the Northern Rhone, where the world’s finest Syrah is grown, is a cool climate compared to most of California.
However, just as there are some iconic Syrah vineyards in the Southern Rhone, there are compelling, distinctive Syrah vines in warmer climes. At the risk of sounding too proud, our Benchland Syrah is one such vineyard.
Planted in 1991, our Benchland block is one of, if not THE oldest Syrah vineyard in Sonoma County.   Like many of us, the Benchland vines might be slowing down, but they are producing higher quality. The crop level is more in balance with its root development, resulting in more consistent high-quality fruit. Combined with an even ripening vintage like 2018, you have one of the best wines from this vineyard. Intense color and fruit, with a distinct savory character you’ve come to love from this wine. This 2018 has the depth and structure found in our 2016, 2012 and 2007, rewarding those who aged them.

100% Sangiovese
15 MO. 35% New French Oak
150 Cases 

6 Bottle Limit
For the past ten years we labelled our best Sangiovese “Riserva” because it was clearly the best lot of Sangiovese we made. Well, truth be told, our Riserva comes from one, ten-row section of the vineyard George planted in 1992. It is the west hill side of that steep, terraced vineyard. So, there you have it. Calling it like it is.
2018 will go down as one of the great vintages of this century, which is quite evident in our Sangiovese West Terrace. Year after year, Jason and I are amazed at the quality coming from this section of the vineyard. Like legendary guitarist, Pat Metheny, our Sangiovese is getting better with vine age. Always great color and structure (both tannin and acid), with classic Sangiovese character. Our West Terrace Sangiovese has helped me understand why producers in Montalcino to release their Brunellos in the fifth year after the vintage.
Like many of our 2018’s, our Sangiovese WT (ha!) goes to 11 on the fruit scale. So much so that you might not notice its tannin structure. This is a big wine that has incredible freshness and verve. Brunello-like tannin with Dry Creek fruit.
Unfortunately, we can’t magically expand the section of this vineyard to make more wine-so production is limited to 150 cases. As such, we are offering you first crack at it prior to us releasing the wine in 2022. Try to hold off from drinking this wine too quickly. It will sure reward you in several years, and last much longer if you so desire.

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