2014 Santa Lucia Highlands "Sierra Mar Vineyard" Syrah
Picked the same day as Rosella’s Syrah, September 30th, our approach with this wine was somewhat similar. Twenty-five percent whole cluster. Nineteen days on the skins. Where our approach differed, however, was in our decision to inoculate. Also, since this wine was a touch riper than Rosella’s, we opted for less oak (14% new French oak to be exact) to let the fruit shine. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
This vineyard lives down the road, just south of its older sibling, Rosella’s, but exhibits the feral and rustic qualities imparted by elevation, thin soil, and a warmer microclimate. The wine introduces itself with hard candy, violets, ruby red grapefruit and lavender on the nose. The pluot and cassis characters on the palate yield to a bacon fat quality that is strongly reminiscent of the “Honey-Lavender Bacon” from our local butcher (good stuff!). Fine-grained tannins on the finish, but this is a wine of depth and intensity that could find its true “happy spot” with some proper cellaring. Drink 2019 – 2027. (JCM – 07/18/16)