10 months in French oak, 20% new
2020 EX Syrah
This wine shows the savory side of our estate-grown, cool-climate syrah clusters. Black peppercorn, rosemary, cola and blueberry aromas show on the nose, while the palate has more of the same along with cracked pepper, ripe olallieberry and dried meaty flavors. It is a slightly younger, less oaky version of its bigger brother, San Saba Vineyard Syrah.
Our Estate San Saba Vineyard is set in a sheltered nook just below the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. The estate consists of 72 acres of which 67.75 are planted to Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah and Falanghina. This is a cool site with little rainfall and one of the longest growing seasons in the world. Our soils, Arroyo Gravelly Loam and Hanford Gravely Sandy Loam, provide a low-vigor, well-draining, disease- and pest-free medium for our vines. They also impart a subtle mineral quality to our wines. To preserve our local ecosystem, we have worked with viticultural consultant Steve McIntyre to develop a CCVT certified sustainable farming program (SIP) tailored to our estate. In addition to protecting the local environment, we believe it allows us to produce wines that are more authentic and specific to our terroir.
This wine is 50% clone 17, 20% Noir and 30% 877. Only 3 acres of syrah are planted in our estate vineyard. Vine yields are closely managed and average slightly less than 4 tons to the acre. Grapes are hand picked and hand sorted. Clones are kept in separate lots during fermentation and barrel aging. 20% of the lots were fermented using whole clusters. Once fermented to dryness, lots are aged in an assortment of French oak barrels (20% new) from various tonnelleries (for added complexity). Wines are barrel aged for around 12 months before bottling. The bottled wine rested for another 12 months before release.