2017 Santa Lucia Highlands "Rosella's Vineyard" Syrah
Picked October 14th, this was the only fruit to come in after the fires started. But with the vineyard located 3.5 hours south of us in Monterey County, not to mention in the opposite direction of prevailing winds, smoke was not a factor. A light vintage in terms of yields, we cofermented the two selections (Alban 1 and Bien Nacido) and opted for about 27% whole cluster. Five-day cold soak. Uninoculated fermentation. After 20 days on the skins, it was pressed to all French oak, 22% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Dark ruby-purple. Practically opaque. A very savory nose of black olive tapenade, smoked meat, black raspberry, and white pepper. And whoa Nelly, talk about violets! It would be fun to put this into a blind tasting of Northern Rhônes to see if anyone is fooled. The wine enters medium to medium full-bodied, finishing with chalky tannins typical of this incredible cool-climate site. While it certainly can be enjoyed now with a long decant, optimum enjoyment should be 2024 through 2034. (MRO - 11/1/19)