2012 Spicerack Vineyards Syrah "Punchdown", Sonoma Coast

  • Spicerack Sonoma Coast Syrah wineSuperb, cool climate sites in Sonoma Coast bring intensity of aromas and nuanced flavors
  • Careful harvest and winemaking decisions showcase varietal intensity and regional specificity
  • Judicious use of new oak allows varietal purity to show through

Buy this wine

Price: $25 per bottle

Shipping and handling included at no charge on 6+ bottles!


"Smokey, spicy and substantial, a wine that speaks directly to syrah... fleshy, well-extracted... with ample tannins."
Connoisseur's Guide to California Wine, November 2014

"The wannabe hipster NYC somm in me dug it, and dug it over a few consecutive evenings...there’s enough black pepper to keep Vietnamese harvesters busy...blue and red fruits with vibrancy and a sense of purpose, dried sage and dried flowers, and a stupid amount of balance for the price point. The “touch of Viognier” is 2%, enough to give the wine a nice aromatic lift and even more black pepper and some leather whip-cracking at the end. An OVERACHIEVER."
- Joe Roberts, 1WineDude.com, November 2013

"Dark purple. Smoke- and pepper-accented aromas and flavors of dark berries and cherry, with a bright mineral overtone. Tangy and precise, finishes with good clarity and cut."
- Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, May/June 2013

"Opaque ruby. Varietally accurate aromas of dark berries, violet, cracked pepper and smoky bacon. Juicy and nicely precise, offering energetic blackberry and mulberry flavors and a hint of bitter chocolate. The smoky note comes back on the finish, which clings with good tenacity."
- Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar


The weather in 2012 returned to normal, albeit it was another drought season. Spring was moderately warm, allowing for good set, and the summer had few surprises. Fall weather during harvest was superb with long, warm days. Yields were average. The resultant wine shows brightness and depth, with superb, savory aromatics.


Our 2012 “Punchdown” Syrah comes from two sites in the Sonoma Coast appellation. The more northerly site brought depth and pepperiness, while the more southerly site added brightness and firm tannins. Both sites were hand-pruned, picked and field sorted.


These Syrah bunches were hand-harvested and field-sorted on October 1 and 17 hand-sorted, destemmed and crushed (5% whole berry) and “cold soaked” for four days in open-top temperature-controlled fermenters. Warm fermentation temperature (85°) moved fermentation along and multiple “punchdowns” kept the cap well immersed in its delicious must. On Day 10 the still-fermenting must was gently pressed into French oak barriques where it completed primary and secondary fermentations. The press fractions were high (about 10% because we want to avoid the bitter seed tannins) were kept separate and ultimately not used. French barrel coopers were top quality, but only 20% new. Fifteen months barrel maturation was supplemented with two rackings which developed its wonderfully smooth but subtle mouth-feel. Our final assemblage of fourteen barrels was bottled in April 2014.

We call our Spicerack Syrah “Punchdown” to reflect the many times the fermenting cap was “punched down” during fermentation. Medium ruby-red and enjoyable now, it displays the varietal typicity of fine syrah with nuances of a fine spicerack.


Regional Composition: 100% Sonoma Coast
Varietal Composition: 96% Syrah, 4% Viognier
pH: 3.61
Alcohol: 14%
Total Production: 14 barrels (about 360 barrels)

Download Tasting Notes