2005 Napa Syrah

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Blend and Grape Sources
100% Napa Valley Syrah.
Harvest Dates
Oct. 17, 2005
Winemaking Data
Grapes were harvested at an average 26.0° Brix, fermented in stainless steel tanks, then aged 20 months in a combination of new French oak barrels (40%) and one to two-year-old French oak (60%) from coopers Francois Frères, Marcel Cadet, Ermitage, Saury, Rousseau and Meyrieux. The wine was blended and bottled in August, 2007.
Winemaker Notes
Elegant notes of coffee, bacon fat, licorice and white pepper mold the aromatics of the 2005 Syrah. The longer growing season produced balanced black fruit characteristics combined with dried floral notes and complex flavors that contribute to its opulence and length.
Vintage Notes
The 2005 vintage was unusually late due to mild temperatures that averaged between 70-80°. From August 1 to October 31, only 15 days exceeded 90°, and even then it never got hotter than 98º. Despite this, color and flavors developed early on, with good sugars, though acids took longer to develop in the ripening fruit.

The first grapes came in September 11th, exactly one month later than the previous year. Fermenting juice showed great color, balance and flavor, similar to the cool growing seasons of '91, '94, '95 and '99.

The vintage was also characterized by high yields. A wet spring increased tonnage by an average of 30% over expectations, and given that the 2004 vintage came in at 40-45% under projections, there was a 70% swing between the two years, making 2005 yields seem even higher.

Depending on vineyard and crop balance, there will be variability in fruit quality throughout the North Coast. However we were extremely fortunate that the weather stayed dry and mild as long as it did, allowing fruit to avoid dehydration from conditions that were too warm, and mildew from weather that was too wet.