2011 Sonoma Mountain "Steiner Vineyard" Syrah
A new Syrah vineyard? Not exactly. In 2009, we used this Syrah as the base of our much-heralded Sonoma County Syrah. In 2010, we found that it significantly improved our Bennett Valley Syrah (Steiner falls into both Sonoma Mountain and Bennett Valley AVAs). But in 2011, we decided it should stand on its own. Located at 1000’ elevation on the northwest face of Sonoma Mountain, weather at Steiner Vineyard is greatly influenced by the wind and fog pouring through Petaluma Gap. As a result, it’s a marginal climate, one that is ideal for producing wines of distinction. Composed of equal parts of clone 470 and Alban 1 selection, the wine was given a light egg white fining to polish the tannin but bottled unfiltered.
Dark ruby-garnet. A very savory nose of white pepper, violets, and herbed, dried black olives. Offering plenty of verve and sap, the wine is surprisingly supple and approachable with impeccable balance. Red and blue fruits carry through the lip-smacking finish. Fans of more elegant Syrahs (as often found in the Northern Rhône) should find plenty to like in this wine. Drink from release (although with a decant) through 2020. (MRO – 07/18/13)