This wine is 100% Syrah from the X Block at Bien Nacido Vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley. The X Block was originally planted to Riesling, on its own roots, in 1973. It was grafted over to Syrah in 1986 and 1987, and I’ve been making Syrah from this block every year since 1987. The combination of the south facing gentle slope, the Riesling roots, the age of the vines and the Estrella clone yields a unique and singular expression of this great grape!
2018 was an outstanding vintage, with a long growing season, and perfect ripening conditions in late October when these grapes were harvested. Fermentation was done in small open top fermenters with 33% whole clusters.
Aging was in French oak Burgundy barrels for 18 months. Only 3 barrels of this special wine were produced…one new barrel, one 1 year old barrel and one neutral barrel. The wine was lightly fined with organic egg whites and bottled without filtration in April 2020.
This is classic cool climate Syrah with aromatics of pepper, cardamom, smoked meat and dried raspberries. It is rich in the mouth yet still light on its feet, with mouth filling fruit and balanced alcohol and acidity. It is certainly enjoyable now, but I’d recommend putting it down for a few years. With good storage, this wine will easily mature for another 10-15 years. It’s a good idea to decant it while young to help open the wine up…then as it ages, decant it off of the natural sediment for optimal enjoyment!
Skål, Bob Lindquist