2006 Sonoma Coast Syrah
What we say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
LISTEN PEOPLE: Today’s Syrah is the BEST we have tasted so far this year! Do not miss out on this fantastic gem of a wine!
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Mission Codename: The Alchemists Syrah
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Infiltrate Lavoro Wine, whose husband wife team of Alex and Jen Beloz have been making wine for more than a decade, at some of the most prestigious wines in the world
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Lavoro Wines
Wine Subject: 2006 Sonoma Coast Syrah
Winemakers: Alex & Jen Beloz
The popularity of Syrah is undeniable. Big and bold in flavor and texture, it packs a concentrated punch of flavor that many people love. This Rhone varietal, although many believe that the grape originated in the Persia region, is 100% French in lineage. The Syrah grape is directly descendant from the Monduese Blanche and Dureza varietals and is grown worldwide with great success. Today’s delicious Syrah is a delight with incredible flavors, deep aromatics and a tender mouth feel.
The Sonoma Coast AVA is the 750 square mile area with the Pacific ocean on its western boundary, the San Pablo Bay to the south and Mendocino County to the north, headed inland to the other designated AVAs in Sonoma County. The region is heavily influenced by the cooler ocean climate, increased rainfall and fog that lingers long on the coastal mountains. The specific climate suits the demanding Burgundian varietals of Syrah, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir very well.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark and ultra-dense, with the darkest garnet hues we have ever seen. At its core, the wine appears almost inky and its foreboding quality offers a hint to its density on the palate. When swirled, thick legs move slowly down the glass.
Smell – Extremely well balanced with dark fruit and spice with a wonder smoky note that mingles easily with the other aromas. Elegant blackberry, concentrated blueberry and raspberry mix with cinnamon, clove, licorice and black pepper. A touch of soft vanilla oak rounds out the nose.
Feel – Silky smooth but well structured tannins, good acidity and minerality. The wine is full-bodied and dry, reminding us of the wines of Hermitage (Northern Rhone). Dark minerals at the tail end give the wine a fine dryness.
Taste – Spiced and smoky red and black fruit of raspberry and blackberry, with soft black pepper, soft anise, dark minerality, soft toasted and smoky oak.
Finish – Long and full-flavored with all the fruit, spice, smoke and other flavors fading in unison.
Conclusion – This is a really great Syrah – one of the best we’ve had in a long time. Classy and elegant in its nose, texture and palate, not overly aggressive like many other California Syrah, everything in the wine is in balance. It is very well made shows perfect integration. If you love Syrah, this is will blow you away. A delicious wine worthy of your table and your wine cellar. Decant for at least an hour for best results. Most of all, don’t miss out on this fantastic Syrah – from California’s leading winemaking couple!
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Jennifer and Alex Beloz, Winemakers for LOVORO
WINE EDUCATION: Jen – MS UC Davis Enology, Alex – Hands – On Apprenticeships
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Jen – 10 years Ravenswood Winery and work abroad in Australia.
Alex – 6 years MacRostie Winery, 2 years work abroad in France, New Zealand and Chile, 4 years Tricycle Wine Company.
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Always make the best wine possible.
WINEMAKER QUOTE: ”Our Work Is Our Passion, Our Passion Is Gold” (It’s on our back label)
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: Our first release of LAVORO was in 2007 with the 2005 vintage.
AGENT RED: Greetings, Alex. Your 2006 LOVORO Syrah is the best that we have tasted in 2010, and we are super thrilled to be showing it today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
WINEMAKERS: You bet – and thanks! We know that you spies are choosy, so are honored that you love our wine that much! Both Jen and I work on LAVORO so we’re both going to answer your questions.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
WINEMAKERS: We both spent time in Europe after college. Alex went to Italy for 6 months and Jen was in Spain for a few months. Those experiences with new friends enjoying good wines was where we caught the wine-bug.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
WINEMAKERS: The wines of northern Rhone stand out for us. Specifically Cote Rotie. These are wines with serious complexity. They carry savory flavors and aromas layered over a black fruit core. Truly magnificent wines!
RED: Who do you make wine for?
WINEMAKERS: We make wine for wine lovers like us who appreciate more than just a simple fruit bomb.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
WINEMAKERS: We source our grapes from Wildcat Mountain Vineyard, a hillside vineyard in the Sonoma Coast appellation. This vineyard is very special to us. We saw it planted the same year we started our winemaking careers.
It’s made in a style that utilizes our combined winemaking experiences and knowledge gained over the last twelve years.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
WINEMAKERS: Jen loves LAVORO with Beef Burgundy. Alex says roasted lamb dishes. We both think it pairs with rich, savory dishes.
RED: All ‘Yum’, if you ask me! Tell me, in your opinion, what makes the Sonoma Coast so special for Syrah?
WINEMAKERS: Located atop a rocky mountain in the Sonoma Coast appellation the vines tough through the rugged terrain and cool climate conditions. The volcanic soils at Wildcat Mountain are rich in iron making them red, rocky and well drained. These are ideal soils for growing Syrah with character and brawn.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
WINEMAKERS: Preparing for harvest! We’ve been cleaning the winery, receiving barrels, etc. It’s been a cooler than normal year so harvest is a bit late. It’s getting really close now.
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
WINEMAKERS: Don’t take it too seriously. Wine is made to be enjoyed with friends and family.
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
WINEMAKERS: LAVORO is the embodiment of years of hands-on winemaking experiences for your pleasure. We hope you enjoy!
RED: Oh, believe me… We enjoy! Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
What the winery says
About This Wine:
The 2006 LAVORO is quite rich and expressive. The aroma opens with blackberry juice and raspberry concentrate. With time it blossoms into a spicy mix of cinnamon, anise, licorice and vanilla. The true character of Syrah persists throughout with hints of coffee, citrus zest and leather. The texture of the wine is satin-like. It is dense and rich on the palate with ample fruit flavors. A lively acidity keeps the wine fresh and inviting.
Crafting: The 2006 LAVORO was crafted, again, with the technique of fermenting grapes directly in small, new oak barrels. We learned this technique years ago on a European winemaking expedition. Wine made in this manner is unparalleled in silkiness and texture. While requiring more time and effort, the superior results this process yields make it an obvious choice in producing LAVORO.
Adopting this process, we hand sorted our Syrah clusters then gently destemmed them and placed the grapes into small oak barrels for fermentation. As the fermentation proceeded we mixed the barrels by hand to extract color, tannin and flavor. When the time was right we pressed off the young wine and refilled the barrels.
Barrel fermentation is an artisanal process that requires much time, care, and labor. It is a technique that lends itself well to small batch winemaking.
About The Winery:
La vo’ ro n. [Latin.] labor, work.
O’ro n.[Latin.] gold.
Our work is our passion Our passion is gold.
We have been crafting wine in Northern California for over a decade. Along our winemaking journey we envisioned starting a small label where we could tailor the wine to our own, very specific tastes. A winemaker’s wine so to speak. In 2005 our dream became a reality when we founded LAVORO.
LAVORO embodies our collaborative wine knowledge, hard work, and vision of making wines that are distinctive, complex, and cerebral. Wines that are not flashy or trendy but pure, honest expressions of our love for the grape, the place they are grown, and our work as winemakers.
Often times the wine industry is represented as romantic and easygoing. Although that’s the case when we enjoy the fruits of our labor, the truth is that winemaking is hard work. Whether it’s working year long in the vineyards ensuring the best quality fruit is being grown, or working long hours during harvest caring for the wines, winemaking is a labor-intensive craft. What calls us back each season and makes it special to us is the renewed interest in creating wines that express the year’s bounty of hard work, good times, and great friends and family. We’ve come to realize that our work has, indeed, become our passion.
— Jen and Alex Beloz
We source the grapes from Wildcat Mountain Vineyard, a hillside vineyard in the Sonoma Coast appellation. This vineyard is very special to us. We saw it planted the same year we started our winemaking careers.
Located atop a rocky mountain in the Sonoma Coast appellation the vines tough through the rugged terrain and cool climate conditions. The volcanic soils at Wildcat Mountain are rich in iron making them red, rocky and well drained. These are ideal soils for growing Syrah with character and brawn.
We are gratified to have access to this fruit and are pleased to work year round with the growers, Tony and Nancy Lily and Steve MacRostie.
Harvest: Grapes Harvested on October 16, 2006
Wine Bottled: June 18, 2008
Production: 6 barrels produced (154 cases)
Varietals: 92% Syrah, 8% Carignan
Ageing: 50% New European Oak, 19 Months Barrel Ageing