This full-bodied red leads with a robust nose of black plum, cassis, wet slate, and vanilla. The inky obsidian shade is a prelude to this varietal’s intrinsic flavors of dark berry, maple, and sandalwood, finely balanced with a silken tannin in its long, luscious finish.
Harvest in 2016 started in the middle of August during a pattern of warm sunny days cooled by foggy mornings and breezy afternoons for most of the area. The early months of the year were very mild with little rain allowing the vines to progress steadily and uneventfully. Yields throughout the region were slightly below average but moderate weather starting in early summer gave the fruit plenty of time to develop great color and flavor, resulting in beautifully balanced wines.
This wine is a blend of 86% Russian River Valley fruit and 14% Sonoma Valley fruit. The two regions produce grapes with different flavors and characteristics. The Russian River Valley has a cool, foggy climate and the Syrah grapes grown here are spicy with fine tannins and delicate acidity. In Sonoma Valley, at our Wild Oak Estate Vineyard, the summer days are warmer with less fog influence producing Syrah with a little more intensity and darker fruit flavors while our Mourvedre brings in a floral element with soft tannins. Winemaker Chris Louton combines the two for a balanced Syrah with layered flavors and depth.
This Syrah was fermented using a combination of whole cluster and whole berry techniques. The wine underwent a slow 14-day ferment and was then racked off into French oak barrels where it underwent malolactic fermentation naturally. Winemaker Chris Louton chose older oak barrels for this wine to allow the expression of the two vineyards to emerge. The wine was aged for 16 months before bottling.