2003 Bennett Valley Syrah
100% Bennett Valley Syrah, Judge Family Vineyard
Our first Syrah from Bennett Valley, one of California's newest appellations! Bennett Valley, located just south and a little east of Santa Rosa, is known for its cool climate and incredibly poor, rocky soils. All the fruit for this wine came from the Judge Family Vineyard on Grange Road. Syrah? On a road named "Grange"? Sounds like some pretty good juju to me! Picked October 29th, it was apparent from the get go that this fruit was special. Hence, we decided to really push the limits on this bad boy - 15% bleed-off, eight days of cold soak, an indigenous fermentation that continued for 4 months.
Black ruby/purple. Opaque. Black raspberries and white pepper leap from the glass. In fact, the first time I tried it from barrel I thought I had pulled a sample of Carlisle Vineyard Zinfandel! On the palate, huge, totally mouth-coating. Like dry black raspberry cordial. A real "toe curler" as one female barrel taster remarked. Although this Syrah will drink well on release, with its healthy acidity, it should provide pleasure through 2012. (MRO - 8/7/05)