One hundred percent of the grapes for our 2005 Syrah came from vineyards in the cool-climate Carneros district at the southern tip of Napa Valley, including our own Cuttings Wharf Road Vineyard. As in France’s northern Rhône Valley, where the five clonal selections used to produce this wine originated, Syrah in Carneros benefits from a cool, foggy climate that promotes the intense, complex, spicy aromas and flavors for which Syrah is celebrated.
In 2005, a warm late winter spurred early bud break, yet a cool, wet spring set back vine development. Atypically cool temperatures continued throughout much of the summer, which slowed ripening and prolonged the growing season. As is common in California, however, warm, sunny weather in September and early October kick-started the harvest and brought it to fruition. Due to the early start to the season and its late conclusion, our Syrah grapes enjoyed a long hang time on the vine and were picked with perfectly ripened flavors between October 19th and 27th.
Each of our five Syrah clonal selections was harvested and fermented separately in small stainless steel fermenters, with manual punchdowns to thoroughly macerate the cap of skins and extract maximum color and flavor from the juice. Once fermentation completed, the wines were transferred to French oak barrels, 49% new before the final blend was assembled in December, 2005. We then aged the wine an additional year in barrel before bottling in December, 2006.
Our 2005 Carneros Syrah boasts seductive, varietally expressive aromas of ripe black fruits, violets, white pepper, roasted coffee and sweet vanilla. On the full-bodied palate, lush blackberry, plum and fig flavors mingle with savory, roasted spice tones, with supple tannins and a long, toasty finish completing the package. Delicious now with grilled red meats and other hearty fare, this sumptuous example of classic cool-climate Syrah will develop gracefully in the bottle for another 3 to 5 years.
99% Syrah, 1% Viognier
October 19 - 27, 2005
small open-top and closed tanks
14 months new & seasoned French oak barrels