VARIETAL / VINEYARD: This 2015 Syrah “Normale” comes from three blocks planted to four clones of Syrah located on the winery property. For those of you scoring at home the clones are 174, 877, 383, and our original selection obtained from Durell in Sonoma, planted on low-vigor rootstock in 1998. We have been increasingly impressed with the fruit complexity from all of these clones. Our winery property Syrah tends to show more cool climate aromas and flavors (blueberry, olive) reminiscent of the Northern Rhône wines Crozes-Hermitage and St. Joseph.
VINTAGE: 2015 was an excellent vintage for all of our grape varieties. The drought conditions led to a low crop set and an early harvest date. We began harvesting Syrah September 12th and finished by September 21st. All of our Syrah in 2015 has very dark color, intense fruit, solid tannin structure, and acidity. It is one the best vintages for our Syrah since 2007.
WINEMAKING: We ferment our Syrah in small open top tanks. After a 5-day cold soak, fermentation begins with indigenous yeast. We then punch-down or pump juice over the cap twice daily. Once dry, the pomace is basket- pressed, blended with free-run wine, and transferred into barrels. A small portion of this wine was whole cluster fermented in order to enhance aromas. The wine was aged in only French Oak, 35% new, for 13 months.
STYLE / DESCRIPTION: This 2015 Syrah really illustrates the best attributes of this excellent vintage. It is dark, with intense blue and blackberry fruit, licorice, and spice, reminiscent of Syrah from of our favorite Crozes-Hermitage and St.-Joseph wines from the Northern Rhône. Like those wines, I recommend drinking this 2015 Syrah now through the next 5 or 6 years.