This Syrah embodies the warm dry 2013 vintage, exuding dense notes of plum, black licorice and caramel. Bright and juicy initially, the palate gains density and power showing off blackberry, dark chocolate and tar to go along with chalky tannins. Just a touch of hickory bacon from the toasted French oak combines with leathery fruit to elongate the finish, showing off a wine built to last. Rich and powerful now, should develop impressively over the next 5 years and drink well beyond that.
What formally was known as our Block 6 Estate Syrah has evolved into Devil’s Canyon over the past few years. The vines here survive on what is our steepest, chalkiest, and warmest section of all our plantings. The reputation of this block grew not only because sampling of it is typically used as punishment for any cellar transgressions, but also for the remarkable quality of the fruit produced. The unique combination of exposed limestone soil, direct Southwest facing exposure, and over 45% gradient combine to create a wonderfully rich and complex expression of Syrah.
Harvested by hand, the clusters were destemmed and hand sorted before being gravity fed uncrushed into 4.5 -ton open top stainless tanks. During primary fermentation, we used a gentle routine of 2 daily punch downs and a delestage as needed by sensory evaluation. The ferments spent a total of 25-29 days on skins to fully extract as much phenolic material as possible. The completed ferments were gently pressed and racked directly to barrel. The wine was racked once on completion of malo-lactic fermentation and a small amount of Estate Block 7 Cabernet was blended in to add a touch more structure. The 2013 Syrah was very dense and tannic in youth, thus a 25 month ageing was called for to give this wine adequate time to evolve and bring the tannin and fruit into balance.