2007 Napa Valley Syrah
Syrah •Estate Bottled
California: Napa Valley
What we say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s wine is one of the best Syrahs we have featured in recent memory! If you love great Syrah, read this review to see if it intrigues you as much as it intrigued us.
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Mission Codename: Sweet Sixth
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Return to Hagafan Cellars, a Napa Valley gem found along the Silverado Trail in the Napa Valley. Taste their 2007 Napa Valley Estate Bottled Syrah. If the wine is exceptional, secure an allocation for our growing base of syrah-loving Operatives.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Hagafen Cellars
Wine Subject: 2007 Napa Valley Estate Bottled Syrah
Winemaker: Ernie Weir
Backgrounder: Hagafen Cellars produces a diverse selection of prized varietals while remaining a hidden gem among wine industry giants. Nestled along the Silverado Trail in the exciting Stags Leap District, Hagafen Cellars is a gold medal-winning winery that crafts small lots of distinctive and delicious wines.
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.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Bark burgundy hues, with a deeper heart of black plum. When swirled, the wine settles very quickly. As it stops spinning, Skinny, wine-stained tears start high up the glass, before streaking quickly downward.
Smell – Sweet, spicy, lush and expressive, this wine leads with dark blackberry, sweet brown spice, blueberry and dried meats. As the wine breaths and opens up, it reveals sweet tobacco, leather, dark chocolate and toasty oak.
Feel – Soft and round, up front. Then, the wine becomes full-bodied and and softly grippy, with plush tannins providing texture and intrigue. After a few moments, the wine takes on a fleshy feel. Eventually, a mouth puckering dryness spreads to the cheeks and lips.
Taste – Lushly layered, with earthy fruit flavors, led by overripe blackberry, black cherry, dried fall leaves, subtle bramble and soft brown spice. As the wine stretches out, it reveals hints of chocolate, black pepper and subtle dried meats.
Finish – Dark fruit is supported well into the long finish by the soft spice and earthen characteristics. Flavors linger as the fleshy feel takes over. Lovely black pepper, chocolate and dried meat provide a delicious conclusion.
Conclusion – This terrific 2007 Napa Valley Syrah, from our great friends at Hagafen, is a delicious, complex, ripe wine that delivers an intriguing experience. Each of Ernie Hagafen’s wines is a unique treat that has delighted our tasting panel. Today’s wine was fantastic on opening but it really shone after it was decanted for thirty minutes. The more we swirled and sipped, the more the wine revealed more depth, more authentic fruit and more complexity. Enjoy this wine with a grilled Porterhouse – and special friends!
AGENT RED: Greetings, Ernie. We are thrilled to be showing your 2008 Napa Valley Syrah today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
ERNIE WEIR: It is great to be back with you, once again, Red.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
ERNIE: I have always had an attraction to this revered beverage.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
ERNIE: I was enamored with the wines of Louis Martini in the 70s as I recall
RED: Who do you make wine for?
ERNIE: Most decidedly, we produce wines for consumers to enjoy
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
ERNIE: A luscious Estate Bottled Syrah from our Napa foothills vineyard along the eastern ridge.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
ERNIE: Wild mushroom wild rice with any red meat.
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Napa Valley so special?
ERNIE: Cool enough to develop the nice black pepper, warm enough to ripen fully. Rolling foothills, well drained soils, cool evenings.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
ERNIE: Barreling down vintage 2011 red wine.
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
ERNIE: Take it easy, do not fear and enjoy
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
ERNIE: Make sure to share the wine with someone you enjoy, the experience will be one worth remembering
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 Hagafen Cellars Estate vineyards and winery can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the winery says
Awards & Accolades:
91 Points – Daniel Rogov
Silver Medal – Riverside International Wine Competition
About This Wine:
Our sixth vintage, this 2007 Napa Valley Estate Bottled Syrah is the first made from our newest vineyard: Weir Family Vineyard III in the Eastern foothills of the Valley. On the nose, our Syrah shows aromas of red and black fruits. This inky, dark red wine fills the mouth with firm, meaty tannins, complementing a rich mix of cherry, black cherry, chocolate, and leather. With an extremely long finish, this well-structured Syrah begs for the accompaniment of food—anything roasted and in need of a wine able to accent and deepen the experience of hearty meat dishes.
About The Winery:
Hagafen Cellars is located in the Napa Valley, in the heart of California’s premier wine grape region. Less than a mile south of the famed Stags leap District and twenty yards from the Oak Knoll District—Napa’s newest and most exciting of American Viticultural Areas—our well-drained soil is ideal for the growth and production of ripe and rich, intensely fruity small lot estate bottled wines. Owned and operated by Irit and Ernie Weir, the winery was founded in 1979, and the first commercially released vintage was harvested in 1980. In the ensuing years, we have grown from a small partnership producing wine with grapes from Winery Lake Vineyard, then owned by Rene DiRosa, to a well-established wine company whose wines are distributed throughout North America and overseas. Since 1980 our wines have been served on numerous occasions at the White House to visiting foreign dignitaries. The cornerstone of our lives are the Silverado Trail winery and tasting room and our two estate vineyards in the eastern benchland of the Napa Valley.
Ernie’s daily involvement in the two sides of wine production, grape growing and winemaking, ensures the superb quality of our wines. “Fine wine starts in the vineyard with careful vineyard management,” says Weir. “I strive to take maximum advantage of the Napa Valley’s natural geology and climate to produce the best wine varietals. I interfere as little as possible with the soil, creating a balance that minimizes the chemical and erosion impact by using modern farming techniques while maintaining the age-old wisdom of balance and the traditional values of conservation and land stewardship. Once harvest is completed, I undertake the second part of my job, winemaking. This presents an interesting challenge every time since each year the growing season and harvest are unique and different. I never seek to change what Nature has provided. My goal is to showcase the best that our land has produced.”
We look forward to meeting you here in Napa at our winery and tasting room on the Silverado Trail.
Family, Tradition, Excellence: Think Hagafen!
About The Winemaker:
Ernie Weir – “I interfere as little as possible with the soil, creating a balance that minimizes the chemical and erosion impact by using time honored farming techniques while maintaining the age-old wisdom of balance and the traditional values of conservation and land stewardship. Once harvest is completed, I undertake the second part of my job, winemaking. This presents an interesting challenge every time since each year the growing season and harvest are unique and different. I never seek to change what Nature has provided. My goal is to showcase the best that our land has produced.”
“Passion, soul, and enjoyment—without all three, you don’t have a fine wine.”
Appellation: Napa Valley
Sugar: 24.5 Brix at harvest
Acid: 5.6 g/L