2003 Napa Syrah

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Varietal
Syrah
Blend and Grape Sources
100% Napa Syrah from estate-grown grapes (41%) and independent growers (59%).
Harvest Dates
Sept. 22 - Oct. 22, 2003
Winemaking Data
Grapes were harvested at an average 25.3° Brix, fermented in stainless steel tanks, then aged 18 months in a combination of new French oak barrels (40%) and two-year-old French oak (60%). The wine was blended and bottled in June, 2005.
Winemaker Notes
The first thing you notice about the 2003 Syrah is its remarkably deep purple/blue/ color, followed by rich aromas of blackberry, anise, cherry cola and white pepper. On the palate the wine is opulent and spicy with a long, smooth mouth-coating finish.
Vintage Notes
A cool, wet spring seemed to forecast a vintage that would have difficulty ripening, but July and August were unusually warm without the fog-shrouded mornings typical of Napa Valley summers. Clear skies provided a complete daily dose of solar radiation to the vines and fruit, allowing for good photosynthesis and grape development, and hot weather in mid-September provided additional heat accumulation. After the heat spell broke, it was replaced by near-ideal weather conditions of overcast mornings, warm, sunny afternoons and temperatures in the low to mid eighties. Actual crop harvested was significantly lower than estimates with less than two tons per acre from many vineyards as a result of earlier crop removal to mitigate mildew. Berry size was small with excellent acid balance; and overall quality -- less variable than '02 -- appears excellent.