Deep garnet in the glass with generous aromas of licorice, blackcurrant, and a touch of white pepper, star anise, and bacon fat. The mouth-coating silky texture delivers dusky tannins surrounded by a core of intense black fruit, coconut husk, and savory notes of cured meats. The complex evolution of flavors finishes with a touch of cocoa, giving a deliciously satisfying finish for the drinker. The rich, brooding character reflects the warm vintage, however, the dark fruit flavors and full body of the wine are kept in balance with a moderate alcohol of 14.6% and bright acidity. Similar in spirit to the 2012 vintage, the 2016 vintage is drinking great right now but if you can wait, you will be rewarded by careful cellaring.
Amongst the rolling hills of Carneros, lies Las Madres vineyard, a site close to our hearts that produces Syrah of superb quality and character. The Syrah grown here is a mix of clone 174 and 300, with vines planted on an east-west alignment in a sheltered bowl that makes the most of the diurnal flux in temperatures. These vines are some of the last to be picked, allowing the fruit to develop nuanced flavor whilst retaining a naturally balanced alcohol. For this 2016 vintage, we decided to pull back on the percentage of whole cluster used in the fermentation, using 100% destemmed fruit. After 5 days of cold soak, we allowed the tanks to warm and utilized a strain of yeast directly cultivated from the wineries and vineyards of the Côtes du Rhône. Following primary fermentation, the muss was pressed and sent to barrel to undergo malolactic fermentation. The Syrah was then left to mature for 16 months in 30% new French Oak barrels and 70% once-used French oak barrels.