2015 Spicerack Syrah, Sonoma County
- Superb and diverse sites in Sonoma bring intensity of aromas and nuanced flavors
- Careful harvest and winemaking decisions showcase varietal intensity and regional specificity
- Judicious use of new French oak allows varietal purity to show through
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"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 2015 was challenging. A very wet winter was followed by inconsistent weather patterns, especially during May/June and led to a small set. Yields were well below average but what made it into the bin was well colored, with great aromatics. The resultant wine shows brightness and depth, with superb, savory aromatics.
COOL CLIMATE VINEYARDS
2015 Spicerack Syrah comes from two sites in Sonoma. The more northerly site along the Sonoma Coast (65%) with its Goldridge soils brought snappy tannins and pepperiness, while the southerly site in Alexander Valley (35%) added depth and rich texture.
These Syrah bunches were hand-harvested and field-sorted on September 17 and October 9 and hand-sorted, destemmed & crushed (10% whole berry) and “cold soaked” for two days in open-top temperature-controlled fermenters. Warm fermentation temperature (85°) moved fermentation along and we kept the cap well immersed in its delicious must. A modest co-ferment with some Viognier added aromatics and stabilized color. The still-fermenting musts were gently pressed into French oak barriques where it completed primary and later, secondary fermentations. The press fractions were about 9% because we want to avoid the bitter seed tannins and were kept separate and ultimately not used. French barrel coopers were top quality, but less than 30% new. Eleven months barrel maturation was supplemented with two rackings which developed its wonderfully smooth but subtle mouth-feel. Our final assemblage of nineteen barrels was bottled in February 2015. 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: 95% Syrah, 5% Viognier (co-ferment)
Total Production: 12 barrels (about 300 cases)
Download Tasting Notes