What We Say 2010 Rose of Syrah
SUPERIOR WINE/HIGH QPR ALERT:
Today’s wine, from Ferrari-Carano’s sister winery, Lazy Creek Vineyards, is a delicious, budget-minded Rose of Syrah that will knock your socks off. The combination of quality and value earns it this special combo award.
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Mission Codename: Artisanal Beginnings
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: In time for Summertime sipping, return to Ferrari-Carano Winery and retrieve their Lazy Creek Vineyards Rose.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Lazy Creek Vineyards (Ferrari-Carano)
Wine Subject: 2010 Alexander Valley Rose of Syrah
Winemaker: Christy Griffith-Ackerman
Backgrounder: The Anderson Valley AVA in Mendocino County runs long the Anderson River, which flows northwest from near Boonville towards Navarro. The west side of the Anderson River rises to a region known as the Mendocino ridge, a higher elevation aspect than much of the inland wine growing regions in Mendocino County. It is one of California’s coolest wine growing regions with the climate most influenced by proximity coast. The region is also well known for having a diverse alluvial soil structure that supports a wide variety of grapes, especially Syrah. Rose, when made from Syrah, can exhibit a lovely fruit character and complexity that is not found in other varietals.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark pink hues, with perfectly even coloration from core to the edge of the glass. Spin the wine and it catches the light, glinting with light pink sparkles. As the wine settles, tall columns of wine-stained tears fall slowly down to the wine, below.
Smell – Bursting with aromas of strawberry, yellow raspberry and fine citrus fruit that jump out of the glass to greet you. As the wine warms, even slightly, it releases additional aromas of fresh pink rose petals, white peach and a hint of watermelon.
Feel – Very soft and round on the attack, then a very gradual dryness spreads from the edges of the palate, radiating inward. Eventually, the lips and cheeks are left with a very pleasant dryness.
Taste – Bright strawberry, raspberry and sweet lemon-lime are the first flavors present on the palate. Toward the rear of the tongue, watermelon, tart cherry, peach, rose and acacia spread inward, travelling just ahead of the spreading dryness.
Finish – Ultra long and dynamic, with the initial fruits fading as a second round of flavors move slowly, leading the soft dryness that follows closely behind.
Conclusion – Another stunning accomplishment from Don and Rhonda Carano, owners of Ferrari-Carano Winery. Their 2010 Lazy Creek Rose of Syrah is a fun, delicious, refreshing wine with plenty of character, flavor and intrigue. Really aromatic, sweet and lush on the nose, our tasting panel found itself sniffing this wine for a long time before ever taking a first delicious sip. Flavors are the right balance of sweet and slightly tart, and the dynamic quality of the finish is really intriguing. After sipping, the wine reveals a second round of flavors that seems to surf your tongue, just ahead of a gradually spreading dryness. At just $15 a bottle, this wine is also an exceptional value, easily beating out wines of a higher price. Highly recommended!
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Christy Griffith-Ackerman
WINE EDUCATION: B.S. in Food Science, Enology from California State University Fresno
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Assistant Winemaker at Jordan Vineyard & Winery in Healdsburg, Associate Winemaker at Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery and current Winemaker at Lazy Creek Vineyards.
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: I work with a diverse range of vineyards so I like to let the uniqueness of each come through in my winemaking, with little intervention
WINEMAKER QUOTE: _ “Wines are like people, some just take a bit longer to show their colors”_
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: 2006 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Ferrari-Carano
AGENT RED: Welcome back, Christy. I am so excited by today’s wine, your 2010 Lazy Creek Vineyards Rose of Syrah today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
CHRISTY GRIFFITH-ACKERMAN: Hey, Red. Great to be back with you, today!
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
CHRISTY: Not a specific experience but an overall appreciation for, nature and science. Many things in nature; colors, textures, and aromas influence my winemaking and it all happens with science.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
CHRISTY: I would say the wines of Burgundy and Rob Davis, Winemaker at Jordan Vineyards and Winery
RED: Who do you make wine for?
CHRISTY: For the person who celebrates that food and wine are meant to be enjoyed together in our everyday life.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
CHRISTY: This refreshing, crisp, dry Rose of Syrah is a pretty pink hue with nice floral, berry aromas and flavors of strawberry and raspberry.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
CHRISTY: The Rose of Syrah pairs well with mild cheeses, crabcakes, and my favorite – oysters.
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Anderson Valley such a special place for Syrah?
CHRISTY: Anderson Valley is unique in that we have morning and evening fog that rolls in and cools the vineyards down quite quickly. We retain nice acid profiles in the grapes which is particularly good for a rose wine.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
CHRISTY: Currently, the 2010 Pinot Noirs are going to bottle and we are assembling the 2011 blends.
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
CHRISTY: I believe everyone should enjoy wine with food. I love to see someone taste a wine and then taste that same wine with food and really see the subtle complexities come out.
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
CHRISTY: Please visit our estate and tasting room in the Anderson Valley when we re-open in the spring and you can always purchase our wines on our website.
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 Lazy Creek Vineyards winery can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Lazy Creek Vineyards
About This Wine:
This is the first vintage of our completely dry, 2010 Lazy Creek Vineyards Rosé of Syrah from Anderson Valley. A fresh, young wine, the Rosé of Syrah delights with aromas of strawberry and lemon lime complemented by crisp citrus and berry fruit flavors with a rose petal finish.
VINTAGE NOTES: Record rainfall in the spring was followed by a record mild summer; July being the coolest it’s been in 50 years. The happy result was deliciously flavored and well-balanced Syrah grapes. Harvest began mid September and was completed late October.
WINEMAKER NOTES: This 100% Rosé of Syrah is sustainably farmed, utilizing only organic materials in the vineyards. The grapes are hand harvested, destemmed, crushed into tank and cold-soaked on the skins for a few hours — just long enough to pick up the wine’s lovely pink hue and extract flavors from the skins. The grapes are then pressed to tank for fermentation. Wine is sur lie aged in stainless steel tanks, stirred every two weeks for two months, and then blended and bottled in June, 2011.
FOOD PAIRINGS: Served chilled, this wine’s crisp, light characteristics make it a natural choice for pairing with a diversity of foods, including poultry, light cheeses, fresh strawberries, roasted nuts, roast turkey and fresh cranberries, or herb-grilled lamb. Pair with antipasti with olive oil, a Caesar’s salad, beef ribs, or Chili Con Carne, to spice things up.
About The Winery:
Lazy Creek Vineyards is named for the meandering creek that runs through the 95-acre ranch located four miles west of Philo in Anderson Valley.
A pleasant detour off Highway 128, Lazy Creek’s narrow, dirt road overgrown with rambling bushes and ferns, towering redwoods and oak trees, opens onto the rustic farmhouse, barn, cottages and winery outbuildings with its menagerie of animals, gardens, fruit trees and vineyards — all welcoming visitors to this truly magical place. One of the smallest and second oldest wineries in the valley, Lazy Creek is home to award-winning Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer and Riesling.
The Story of Lazy Creek Vineyards: When Don and Rhonda Carano discovered Lazy Creek Vineyards, their first thought was, “What a magical place!” The quiet simplicity and charm reminded them of when they first started in the wine business over 30 years ago as grape growers on a small ranch in Alexander Valley, and where they established Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery in Sonoma County a few years later.
Don and Rhonda purchased the 95-acre Lazy Creek ranch in 2008 from Josh and Mary Beth Chandler. Planted to roughly 40 acres of grapes including Pinot Noir, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, and Chardonnay, it was love at first sight for Don and Rhonda. Their true passion and heart has always been, first and foremost, in land and all that it brings. Lazy Creek – the vineyards, the farm, the animals, the gardens, the special Heritage roses – truly represents a personal journey for them.
Prior to Josh and Mary Beth, Hans and Theresia Kobler operated Lazy Creek for 26 years, after purchased the property from the Pinoli family, the original founders of this ranch in the early 20th century. Hans and Theresia began the arduous task of planting additional vineyards, including Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Hans established Lazy Creek as a producer of award-winning Alsatian-style Gewurztraminer and Pinot Noir wines.
Don and Rhonda honor the philosophy and tradition of producing the Alsatian-European style of wines that Lazy Creek enthusiasts have come to enjoy. “We truly believe that great wines begin in the vineyards, and we feel honored to carry on the tradition of superbly-crafted, artisan wines established by those before us at Lazy Creek,” says Don Carano. Also believing whole-heartedly in allowing the vineyards to express themselves is Lazy Creek Vineyards Winemaker Christy Griffith.
Appellation: Anderson Valley, Mendocino County
Varietals: 100% Syrah
Cooperage: 100% Stainless