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100% Napa Valley Syrah from the Hyde Vineyard.
Grapes were picked in the pre-dawn hours under lights at an average of 23.8˚ Brix to control temperature and freshness. Fruit was hand sorted and fermented in stainless steel with regular punch downs until the desired texture was achieved. The wine was aged for seventeen months in 30% new and 70% two- to three-year-old French oak (a mixture of puncheons and barriques) before bottling in May, 2013. The barrel coopers included Ermitage and François Frères.
The 2011 Syrah is layered with aromas of black pepper, plum, dark berries and cherries, baking spices, fresh rosemary, cigar box and floral notes. The palate is long and lush with balanced flavors and abundant fruit characteristics.
2011 growing season was marked by cool weather. Winter was fairly dry, yet spring and early summer rains brought needed moisture to replenish the soil. This cool weather affected the flowering period, resulting in lower overall crop yields and looser clusters. In preparing for the unusually cool growing season, vines were forced into competition for water by leaving cover crop untilled, delaying irrigation and cluster thinning. A welcome warming trend in mid-September helped push grapes to maturity. Despite mid-season rain and cool weather in 2011, blends were very carefully created, resulting in wines of great freshness that will be long lived and no doubt continue to evolve.