2016 Syrah Benchland
VARIETAL / VINEYARD: Our Syrah Benchland was planted in 1991, making it our oldest vineyard block. The Syrah bud wood came from the Durell vineyard in Sonoma. The chalky/rocky well-drained soils have always produced small berries, resulting in dark and intense wine. There is an unmistakable smoked meat element to wine from this vineyard, making it our most unique Syrah.
VINTAGE: 2016 was an excellent vintage. Winter rains signaled the end of a three-year drought. The growing season featured normal dry weather with a cooler than normal stretch in August. That, combined with our aggressive crop-thinning regime resulted in one of the more structured Syrahs we’ve made from this vineyard. We harvested this fruit on September 20th, at a sugar of 26.8 Brix, which is normal for this vineyard.
WINEMAKING: Our winemaking for this Syrah is pretty straightforward. It was fermented in a small stainless steel tank, which provides excellent extraction. We de-stemmed all of the fruit, as we have not had great success using whole cluster fermentation with this vineyard. After a 5- day cold soak, fermentation began with indigenous yeast. We punched down the cap once a day and pressed at dryness. Since this is one of our more full-bodied wines, we age it in 40% new French Oak barrels for 15 months. It is 100% Syrah.
STYLE / DESCRIPTION: This 2016 Benchland Syrah is another classic vintage in the mold of our 2007 or 2012, meaning it has an extra dimension of fruit to go along with the savory elements and tannin structure we are accustomed to seeing from this vineyard. It should age nicely for many years to come (8 to 10 years). I love it when the vineyard and the vintage make us look so good.
H A R V E S T E D: SEPTEMBER 20
BRIX AVG: 26.8
B L E N D: 100% SYRAH
ACIDITY: 5.8 g/L
p H : 3 . 9 7
ALCOHOL: 1 4 . 6 %
A G I N G: 15 MONTHS FRENCH OAK
BARRELS 40% NEW
B O T T L E D : 4 / 4 / 1 8
CASES PRODUCED: 300