2018 Syrah Benchland
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, and well-drained soils have always produced small berries, resulting in a dark and intense wine. There is an unmistakable smoked meat element to wine from this vineyard, making it our most unique Syrah.
VINIFICATION: Our winemaking for this Syrah is consistent and 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 aged it in 35% new French Oak barrels for 17 months. It is 100% Syrah.
VINTAGE / STYLE: Almost 30 years since their original planting, our Benchland Syrah vines are slowing down, in a good way. The vines’ 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 in this wine. This 2018 has the depth and structure found in our 2016, 2012, and 2007, rewarding those who aged them.—MJU