2013 Upper Scala Vineyard Sonoma Mountain Syrah

Release Date: Fall 2015

Production: 145 cases

Vineyard: My search for an ideal Syrah vineyard took me to the steep slopes of Scala Vineyard on Sonoma Mountain. This wine comes from a cooler site planted on a northeast-facing slope at an elevation of 940 feet. The Red Hill series clay loam soil of this vineyard is volcanic in origin, with thin topsoil. This well-drained site naturally keeps yields low, producing very small clusters.

Harvest: With excellent weather and ideal harvest conditions, 2013 was a classic Californian growing season. Tasting perfect on the vines, our Syrah came in on September 25th, at 23.5° Brix.

Fermentation: This wine was fermented as 100% whole clusters with indigenous yeast in an open-top fermentor using the traditional pigeage method. Spontaneous malolactic fermentation occurred in barrel.

Cellar Notes: This Syrah was aged for 16 months in predominantly neutral French oak 450-liter puncheons, with no new oak overall. It was bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Technical Notes:

Alcohol: 13.8
pH: 3.50
Total acid: 6.8g/l
Malolactic fermentation: Completed

Tasting Notes: From it lovely deep opaque color to its classic Syrah aromas of purple flowers, sweet tobacco, licorice and blackberry, this is a nuanced and alluring wine. On the palate, the structure is defined by firm tannins and lively acidity—qualities that add length and focus to a sweet and savory mix of flavors that includes black raspberry, Kirsch and smoked meats. 

Vision: This Syrah is made by my own hand in small lots using gentle, traditional winemaking techniques. In the spectrum of California winemaking, it is crafted at a lower alcohol, and with no new oak. The unique climate of the vineyard ensures excellent acidity—a key component in all of my wines. A great food wine and by-the-glass discovery!