2005 Sonoma Coast Syrah
Syrah •Adobe Vineyard
California: Sonoma County: Sonoma Coast
What We Say
Today’s wine is nearing the end of its availability. Today only, The Wine Spies bring you the final cases of this remarkable Syrah
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s selection from our friends at Ceja Vineyards is a big, delicious and beautifully balanced Syrah, well worthy of your consideration
SECRET SAVINGS ALERT:
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Mission Codename: The Final Syrah – REDUX
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Respond to an EOV (end of vintage) alert from Ceja Vineyards – Only ten cases of their 2005 Syrah remain, and Ceja has reserved them exclusively for our Operatives. Sent an Agent to retrieve these cases
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Ceja Vineyards
Wine Subject: 2005 Sonoma Coast Syrah
Winemakers: Armando Ceja
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 delight with original flavors, deep aromatics and a ultra-fine mouth feel.
Today’s Syrah hails from our good friends at Ceja Vineyarda in the Napa Valley. Their Sonoma Coast Syrah is a deep and delicious treat that we have fallen in love with. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes and mission report below for full details.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deeply concentrated dark purple, with an almost black core that is clear rather than murky. With deep burgundy edges and a bouncy surface when swirled, the wine shows skinny, wide-spaced legs that hesitate to emerge – and then rocket down the glass
Smell – Bold and well developed aromas of black and red fruit including blackberry and cherry with complex underlayers of earth, dried flower, black pepper, spice and the softest hint of buring fall leaves
Feel – Wet and velvety on entry, the dry and slightly round, this medium-bodied sine has fine medium tannins, medium acidity, a touch of minerality and a soft chewiness that makes the wine so interesting in the mouth
Taste – Bold and concentrated dark flavors of black-fruit and plum layered over smokey and toasted oak with a subtle hint of licorice. Follow-on flavors of black pepper, leather, spice and earth
Finish – Long, bold, clean and lingering with solid fruit and spice components
Conclusion – Run to grab up the remaining bottles of this fantastic Syrah! With bold aromas an exciting mouthfeel and flavors that fill your senses, this wine delivers a big wallop – but with fun, poise and finesse. With enough complexity to make it a fun wine to discuss as you sip, this delicious wine kept us talking – and drinking for hours. That is, until we ran out of bottles. Decant for 30 minutes for best results. You’ll be rewarded with a wine that expresses deeper character and softer flavors. This wine is drinking beautifully now and will continue to develop well over the next few years. Not that we here at Wine Spies H.Q. will ever know; We don’t have the patience! Also, since these are the final remaining cases, you’d better be sure to get some before its too late.
Ceja wines are SO good that this is the fifth time we have featured them here. Presented here, for your knowledge, is a re-telling of our first mission (adventure!) to Ceja Winery:
Between missions I was enjoying some downtime at my favorite Napa wine lounge, when an urgent dispatch came through on my Wine Spy handheld. Central Command had received a flurry urgent inquiries for a GREAT red wine – for less than $20.
“Leave your misconceptions behind”, was the clear directive. “Find us a wine that drinks well above its price, and find it TODAY!”
I had just one problem: I was hungry!
I asked the owner of the lounge where I could pick up great Mexican food. Before he could answer, I felt a hand on my shoulder. Turning as I reached instinctively for my corkscrew I saw young man with a flashing smile.
“Like Tacos?” he asked.
“Uhh. Yeah. Love ’em,” I replied.
“And great wine, too?”
“Who doesn’t?” I said.
“Follow me,” he said.
After a short car ride later we turned into the driveway for Ceja Vineyards, a winery that I had heard only great things about.
Stepping out of the car, the aromas hit me. Spices, beans, grilled meat and… red wine.
The young man, who introduced himself as Ariel Ceja, led me into a small outbuilding adjacent to the tasting room. Inside was smiling woman who hugged me as I entered. Ariel introduced me to his grandmother and invited me to sit down. Inside this room, the aromas were intoxicating.
Ariel handed me a glass of red wine, explaining that this was their family’s favorite wine. A deep sniff, a swirl and a taste was all it took for me to fall in love with their wine. The tacos were incredible as well and we laughed and shared stories. And more wine.
Postscript: After filing my report with Central Command, I spent the balance of the day with the Ceja family, eating, drinking, roaming their vineyards. It was hard to leave at the end of the day, but at least I left with a feeling that this day had been among my luckiest – and most rewarding – as a Wine Spy. I got to spend time with great people and enjoy their hospitality. And their great wine.
Their Pinot Noir is my favorite!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The approximate location of Ceja’s Adobe Vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Ceja Vineyards, Member, Napa Valley Vintners
About This Wine:
Aromas of blackberries and white pepper with a subtle gaminess. The palate showcases concentrations of black fruit with hints of leather and spice. This cool climate wine bursts with juicy tannins and lively acidity!
About Ceja Vineyards:
Welcome to Ceja Vineyards. Each day as we gaze at the surrounding vineyards, we are reminded of the first Ceja vine. Planting our first vine together in rich Carneros soil was an exciting moment. That vine symbolized our bond as a family and strengthened our shared commitment to produce premium wines. We proudly continue a three-generation tradition of growing choice grapes in the beautiful Napa and Sonoma Valleys. We invite you to join us on our journey.
As you explore our website you’ll see, repeated often, a bell with the Latin inscription: vinum (wine), cantus (song), and amor (love). In Mexico, church bells ring to reveal the time, announce community celebrations or call parishioners to church. We have adopted the bell as our trademark, and symbolically ring it now to invite you to become a part of Ceja Vineyards.
Terroir, (pronounced tair wahr), is a French term and strictly translated refers to the earth. In the Carneros Region, the term is defined as a special set of conditions encompassing all the components that affect the grapes grown here. The soil’s chemistry and physical structure, the slope and orientation of the hills and valleys and the weather are all factors of terroir.
Located approximately 40 miles northeast of San Francisco, the Carneros Region’s moderate climate is created by fog, moist air, and cool breezes from the Pacific Ocean. Protected from harsh weather by the Coastal Range, Carneros summer days are warm with cool nights and winters are mild. As a result, grapes stay on the vine longer, reaching high acidity and full flavor development.
At Ceja Vineyards, we match vines to terroir, planting each variety where it grows best. Our wines are a true reflection of their origins.
Wine Type: Medium Red Wine
Appellation: Sonoma Coast
Harvest Date: November 3, 2005
Sugar: 24.7° brix at harvest
Aging: 28 months in French barrels
Fermentation: Open-top, cold soaked, extended maceration.