2005 Dry Creek Valley Syrah
Syrah •Mounts Vineyard
California: Sonoma County: Dry Creek Valley
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Mission Codename: Hanging in Dry Creek Valley
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Acquire a delicious single vineyard Dry Creek Valley Syrah for our operatives.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Hangtime Cellars
Wine Subject: 2005 Dry Creek Valley Mounts Vineyard Syrah
Winemaker: Tony Coltrin and Rob Mondavi
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 delight with original flavors, deep aromatics and a ultra-fine mouth feel.
Today’s Syrah hails from the Mounts Vineyard is Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley. The Dry Creek Valley across the Russian River from Alexander Valley has a generally cooler and wetter climate which makes the growing season longer and more flexible than neighboring appellations.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep dark purple and almost black with a dark inky core. Deep purple along the edges with alternating slow fat and thin legs.
Smell – Medium in intensity with flavors of ripe and jammy blackberry and raspberry layered over hints of toasty and vanilla oak, dark mocha and a touch of savory spices.
Feel – The full-bodied wine is deep, rich and well-balanced. Easy acidity and fine grained medium tannins make this wine easy to drink and compliments its plush flavors.
Taste – Luscious ripe and concentrated black and red fruit including blackberry, raspberry, and a touch of plum that are well integrated with deep earthy notes, spice, mild toasted oak and dark-mocha flavors.
Finish – Long and rich with lingering flavors of plush earthy fruit and spice that are well supported by its fine grained tannic structure.
Conclusion – The 2005 Hangtime Cellars Dry Creek Valley Syrah shows its new-world roots in a balanced manner. Deep ripe fruit, balanced over earthy and spice notes and a structure conducive to easy drinking, makes this wine a definite crowd pleaser. Pair this wine with anything you toss on the grill from a big juicy steak to a classic cheeseburger.
Certainly you know that the Mondavi family is the stuff of legend in the wine industry. For purposes of this mission report, I won’t delve into the history of the family that has been called “America’s First Family of wine”.
Rather, I will tell you that today’s wine is a superb representation of generations of fine winemaking experience.
Robert Mondavi, Jr., the grandson of family patriarch Robert Mondavi, is certainly influenced by his family’s roots, but he is also very much his own man when it comes to making fine wines.
As President of Winemaking and Partner at Folio Fine Wine Partners, a company he founded in 2004 with his father Michael, and sister Dina, Rob oversees all wine production for the company. His Hangtime wines, made in collaboration with winemaking partner, Tony Coltrin, himself a wine lifer, are made from the best vineyard sources available. They literally scour the planet to locate grapes that put forth the best expression of their region, their terroir.
The team’s combined experience, when brought to bare on the finest fruit available, produces wines of great deep flavors, style and even fun. Hangtime wines are from cooler climates, where grapes experience a longer time on the vine – a longer hangtime, giving them more concentrated flavors and a robust but refined mouthfeel. Like all of Michael’s wines, they are also made to convey a real sense of place, by giving you a taste of the very best that the wine growing region has to offer.
Today’s wine comes from a vineyard that our regular Operatives are familiar with, the Mounts Family vineyard in the Dry Creek Valley in Healdsburg, California. David Mounts is a second generation grower that also makes his own wines. What is so interesting about Hangtime wines and Mounts own wines are the differences and the similarities. We’ll be showing Mounts’ syrah in late May, so I really encourage you to save a bottle of two of today’s wine, so that you can compare them. What will such a comparison reveal? That both winemaking styles are unique and both are excellent. You will also find an interesting commonality between the two wines, having been made from remarkably excellent grape.
Today’s wine is delicious and robust, with great balance and a great feel.
Our spy hats are off to you, Rob Mondavi, you and Tony have crafted a really great wine with this Syrah
We can’t wait to taste through your other creations!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Mounts Vineyard in Dry Creek Valley can be seen in this satellite photo.
Wine Spies Winery Check:
The location of the Folio Winemaker’s Studio, where Agent Red first tasted today’s wine (before sending a bottle to Agent White for today’s review), can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Hangtime wines demonstrate the superior quality of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah from cool-climate regions in which the grapes enjoy a long hang time on the vine. By focusing in the winemaking process on the concentrated flavors cool-climate grapes develop, Hangtime winemaker Tony Coltrin crafts consistently delicious wines that eloquently express their appellation of origin and unique site terroir.
About This Wine:
2005 was an outstanding red wine vintage for Dry Creek Valley. A cool growing season allowed our Mounts Vineyard Syrah grapes to hang on the vine for 126 days developing intense, balanced fruit flavors. Hangtime winemaker Tony Coltrin aged the wine for 18 months in both new and used French oak barrels. The combination of wood adds toasty vanilla and savory spice tones to the wine’s lush, meaty, black fruit flavors.
About The Vineyard:
Mounts Vineyard – The Mounts family has grown superior wine grapes in the Dry Creek Valley for three generations. The family’s Syrah vines, cultivated from carefully selected clones and rootstocks, yield Syrah fruit with rich, distinctive varietal characters.
Located in northern Sonoma County, the long, narrow Dry Creek Valley lies between the cooler Russian River Valley and the warmer Alexander Valley. Most of the grapes are planted on the Dry Creek river bench benefiting from excellent sun exposure and coarse gravelly soils. Although Dry Creek traditionally has been known for producing California’s finest Zinfandels, it also is an excellent source of world-class Syrah.
About Hangtime Cellars:
In order to give our Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah grapes optimum hangtime, we seek out vineyards where cool climates prolong the growing season. Discover our vineyards in California’s finest winegrowing regions, as well as our New Zealand and Burgundy, France sources. These sites develop our grapes to ripe perfection for wines of exquisitely balanced fruit character.
Tony Coltrin and Rob Mondavi work hand-in-hand with nature to decide exactly how much hangtime grapes need for perfect varietal expression. It’s a delicate calculation—too little hangtime and grapes might not achieve full aroma and flavor development; too much and they might seem overripe. Fortunately, Tony and Rob bring a wealth of experience to every decision that goes into our wines, resulting in the exceptional fruit character and balanced acidity that distinguish Hangtime Cellars.
Varietals: 100% Syrah
Appelation: Mounts Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County
Oak: 100% French Oak Barrels
pH: 3.61 g/l
T/A: 6.71 g/l