2011 Russian River Valley "Papa's Block" Syrah
When early October rains hit, Papa’s Block Syrah wasn’t even close to being ready. Fortunately, botrytis never formed, most likely due to the loose clusters and open canopies. Sure, there were a few fuzzy clusters, or “teddy bears” as we like to call them, but they were easily removed prior to picking. And believe it or not, the rain proved to be beneficial. It lowered sugars allowing us to hang the fruit longer for more flavor development. We have produced a number of delicious Papa’s Block Syrahs over the years but this is potentially our finest yet. Picked October 26th, approximately 32% of the fruit was not destemmed to add structure and aromatics. Indigenous fermentation. All French oak, only 22% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Black-purple. Opaque. Head-turning aromas of blackberry, red grapefruit (but not like our Rosella’s Vineyard Syrah), and licorice with a slight whiff of charcoal. A polished entry leads to a medium-full to full bodied texture with flavors of mulberry, blackberry, and savory herbs. Firm but gentle tannins carry through the long and persistent finish. While this wine can be enjoyed now, for optimum pleasure we suggest holding off for a couple of years and then enjoying through 2023. (MRO – 01/17/13)