2006 Napa Valley Syrah
Syrah •Estate Grown
California: Napa Valley
What We Say
HIGH QPR ALERT:
Maybe we should issue an ULTRA QPR (Quality to Price Ratio) alert for this wine. This special Syrah drinks way above its price class!
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Mission Codename: The Rhone Ranger
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Revisit our friends at St. Supery Vineyards & Winery, acquire their delicious Estate Grown Syrah
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: St. Supery Vineyards & Winery
Wine Subject: 2006 Syrah
Winemaker: Michael Beaulac
Winery Backgrounder: We love St. Supery Winery, and while we would love to show their wines more frequently, we are made happy by the fact that the wines they do share with our Operatives are universally fantastic. Today, Agent Red returns to St. Supery and returns with their Estate Grown Syrah, a delicious wine that is well worthy of your attention.
Varietal Backgrounder: 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 delightful Syrah is a bold and balanced delight with deep flavors, dark aromatics and an intriguing mouth feel.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep and concentrated with dark purple plum hues, with a clear but darker core. Slim-width, wine-stained legs crawl down the glass after swirling.
Smell – Tart blackberry juice with black cherry, boysenberry and soft plum are in the lead. These are closely followed by cedar, tobacco leaf, truffle, smoky rose and black pepper.
Feel – Cool and light on the entry and then quickly grippy. Plush tannins and spicy minerals send a fast-spreading dryness across the entire palate.
Taste – Black licorice and jammy blackberry are out in front. These give way to black cherry, earthen bramble, black plum, truffle with dark minerals and black pepper at the very end.
Finish – Flavors last forever, with fruit that lingers on and on, eventually yielding to the spreading dryness. As flavors fade, flinty minerals and spicy black pepper appear and then fade away.
Conclusion – Delicious, flavorful and intriguing, this initially light Syrah grows and grows, both on the palate – and in our hearts. This wine is great, right on opening, but let it breathe and you’ll be rewarded with more blackfruit and a softer feel. This wine is bold, but well balanced with bright-tart flavors and a medium-bodied feel that is accentuated by the flint and black pepper that come at the end. Pair this wine with hard cheeses, spicy foods or anything that would benefit from a quick cleanse of the palate. This wine plays great, between bites. Its a big California Syrah that drinks like Cali/Rhone hybrid, bringing you the best of both Syrah worlds. At today’s price, we declare this wine an extraordinary value.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Michael Scholz, Vice President Winemaker
WINE EDUCATION: BS in Enology at Roseworthy College, Adelaide, Australia
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Ironhorse then St. Supery 1996-2001, Wattle Creek, returned to St. Supery in 2009
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Make expressive wines, distinctive, fragrant, vibrant and delicious
WINEMAKER QUOTE: “No drama”
AGENT RED: Greetings, Michael. We are thrilled to be showing your 2006 Napa Valley Syrah today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
MICHAEL: So pleased to have St. Supery featured on Wine Spies – once again!
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
MICHAEL: I grew up on a family vineyard estate in the Barossa Valley in Australia, near Adelaide. The estate has been in my family for 5 generations, so I had the good fortune of growing up among the vineyards and wine on the table daily, of course.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
MICHAEL: My big brother, Peter, but don’t tell him that and give him a big head.
RED: Who do you make wine for?
MICHAEL: People who love wine, food and good times.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
MICHAEL: This is 89% Napa Valley Syrah, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot. It’s a delicious and complex wine that we are all very proud of.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
MICHAEL: Braised short ribs, whatever your favorite recipe, use the wine to help braise the beef, drink the wine while braising (this takes several hours) and then serve the ribs on a bed of mashed Yukon gold potatoes
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Napa Valley so special?
MICHAEL: the Napa Valley is a special place for wine grapes. Long, dry growing season, warm days, cool nights, fairly mild temperatures with good amount of sun and heat yields mature fruit, skins, seeds…when the grapes have time to hang in good conditions, the flavors and tannins become ideal.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
MICHAEL: Blending all of St. Supery’s 2009 red wines – the individual wines are made 100% from our estate grown fruit
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
MICHAEL: With a glass in hand, that is best.
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
MICHAEL: Please visit us at the winery in Rutherford, in the heart of Napa Valley. We have fun here, won’t you join us?
RED: 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!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the the St. Supery Vineyards and Winery can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
The first thing to notice in this Syrah is it’s beautiful purple color, which only hints of what lies ahead in the glass. Rich scents of blackberry, plum, leather and tobacco are infused with toasty oak aromas.The palate is dense and chewy with blackberry and black cherryflavors supported by ripe, smooth tannins. This is an elegant wine with a long rich finish.
The estate grown 2006 St. Supéry Napa Valley Syrah is a classic warm climate Syrah. Aromas of hickory-smoked bacon, rose petal and cigar box are complimented with intense flavors of black cherry, cassis, grilled venison, boysenberry and black truffle. While this wine has good concentration, the flavors are fresh on a medium-weight frame with a balanced finish.
Winemaking: The 2006 growing season started as a stormy year with record-breaking rainfall in January, followed by steady showers throughout the spring. e cool, wet weather delayed bud-break in most areas by about two weeks. Late spring and early summer were very mild, and most varieties seemed to flower at the same time. Temperatures soared into the 100’s for most of California’s grape-growing regions in late July, forcing some vines to shut down and stop photosynthesis for several days. Consequently, the
the wave served to further delay an already lagging maturity pattern for most grape varieties. Luckily,
most varieties had yet to go through veraison, so the skins were still thick and relent to the extreme heat. August and September settled into the most amazingly pleasant weather in recent memory, allowing the grapes to ripen slowly and evenly with an excellent sugar/acid balance.
The Syrah grapes for this wine were harvested at night and in the cool early morning hours to maintain the bright fruit flavors. Upon arrival at the winery, the grapes were crushed into tanks for long, cool fermentation. The fermented juice was then transferred to 55% French oak and 45% American oak, much of it new, for aging. After 18 months on oak, the wine was carefully prepared for bottling.
About The Winery:
Two vineyards – one in Rutherford at the heart of Napa Valley’s Cabernet Sauvignon country, the other in a serene corner of the Napa Valley – gave rise to the divine wines of St. Supéry, most notably, award-winning Cabernet Sauvignons and Sauvignon Blanc.
Every day, wine aficionados from around the world visit our winery estate in Rutherford, one of Napa Valley’s best-known appellations. A tour of our winemaking facility gives visitors a look at the state of modern winemaking, while a visit to the historic landmark 1880 Victorian Atkinson House (now a living museum) gives them a sense of the Valley’s past. Yet perhaps the biggest attraction is the uniquely informative and engaging St. Supéry Winery and Gallery
About The Vineyards:
St. Supéry first invested in vineyards in 1982 with the acquisition of Dollarhide, a 1,500-acre property in northeast Napa Valley. The winery has continued to invest in vineyards since that time, knowing that only through close management of the grapes in the vineyards can we ensure the highest quality wines in the bottle. In total, St. Supéry has over 500 planted acres in Napa Valley. It is in these vineyards, with very diverse terrains, that St. Supéry wines get their start.
Dollarhide – Dollarhide is St. Supéry’s largest vineyard estate with over 1,500 acres of rolling hills, oak-covered knolls and seven lakes in a private mountain valley in northeast Napa Valley. About one third of the acreage is planted to winegrapes.
Rutherford Estate – St. Supéry’s estate vineyard surrounding the winery in the celebrated wine growing region of Rutherford in the Napa Valley on Hwy 29 is also the winery site. Thirty-five acres are planted with red Bordeaux varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. The climate and soils of Rutherford are ideal for these grape varieties, which often are blended with Dollarhide fruit to create St. Supéry’s refined and elegant Élu and Virtú wines.
Appellation: Napa Valley
Blend: 89% Syrah; 6% Cabernet Sauvignon; 5% Merlot
Wine Alcohol: 13.6%