2007 Syrah, Sonoma Coast
In 2002 we planted two Syrah vineyards, Rodgers Creek and Shanel, because we know the northern Rhone model, love it, and are convinced that cool-climate, coastal California Syrahs rival those of the Rhone. Not in the future, but now. That said, we're in the business of making and selling wine first and educating about wine second. The public has spoken, and we are retrenching. The Shanel Syrah, which was the basis of our Sonoma Coast bottling in 2004 and 2005, is gone after the 2010 vintage, and starting with this 2007 has been blended with Rodgers Creek into a Sonoma Coast bottling line-priced with our Claret and appellation Chardonnays. We then selected fifteen barrels of Rodgers Creek for a special, 350-case bottling. As the Syrahs are aged on their lees, ala Pinot Noir, the Rodgers Creek seemed to be absorbing new oak unobtrusively, and we ended up selecting all new François Fréres barrels for that cuvée. Both blends were fermented with about 5% Viognier and 25% whole clusters, went directly from the fermenter to barrel for the malolactic, and were aged on their lees without racking. For the first time we bottled after the second harvest, so both of these wines spent 24 months in barrel. And of course, they were bottled without filtration.