Syrah Signature 2016
Anna's Estate Vineyard
A profound wine with a mantle of dense fruit concentration, this year’s Signature Syrah shows elements of black plum sauce and juicy meat extract with concentric layers of bacon fat, lavender and fine English leather hides. Plummy ripeness and a sense of dry aged liquid sirloin come together in this masculine wine. Eminently drinkable but tightly wound in the near term, it will soften and gain complexity over time, drink up by 2026.
The Syrah vine is well adapted to the coastal mountains of Paso Robles and reaches heights of expression in our steep south facing hillside vineyards. Anna’s vineyard encompasses 50+ acres of 10 Rhone varieties along a ridge line of sparse limestone soils. The 4 syrah blocks were planted in 2001 and represent plant material sourced from Chateauneuf-du-Pape (Tablas clones). The limited production Signature Edition quality level represent a site selection and barrel selection of our most desirable vineyard locations and character-filled wines. The 2016 vintage was a rollercoaster moving from wet El Nino winter rains to an early bud break and dramatic daily warm-cool diurnal summer temperature swings, all leading to a historically early harvest. The trend toward warmer seasonal temperatures has necessitated increased attention to vineyard protocols, specifically canopy management and use of shade cloth to moderate sun exposure. Fruit was harvested in the 2nd and 3rd week of September, de-stemmed, optically scanned and fermented with indigenous yeast cultures in primarily concrete tanks. Finished wines were aged for 18 months in a combination of mostly new barrique and puncheon French oak barrels.
Aroma: Plum sauce, butcher block meat juices, iron filings, smoked bacon, paprika
Flavor: Plum sauce, Italian espresso coffee, meat extract, cardamom, black pepper
Baby back ribs with cheesy grits, lamb shawarma with sweet and sour harissa, bacon-blue cheese burgers
Named for Elizabeth Van Steenwyk’s grandmother, this mountainous 48-acre vineyard sits above and around HMR vineyard and supports Adelaida’s Rhône program. The white varieties planted in 2007 lie at the lowest point of the vineyard where they benefit from a pooling of cooler air. Viognier is planted near the top as it thrives when it is warmer and receives more sun. The red varieties, planted between 2001 and 2006, benefit from ideal sun exposure at the top of the steep, south-facing ridge location and exhibit the nuanced flavors of their elevated mountain site.
At between 1,595 and 1,935 feet in elevation, the red varieties lie on an extreme 30 degree slope rooted in devigorating calcareous shale sub soils. At 14 miles from the Pacific Ocean, the afternoon marine air flow accentuates a dramatic 40-50 degree diurnal temperature cool down. The white varieties lie at the lowest point of the vineyard, 1,595 feet, which promotes a pooling of the cool air. All vines, on drip, are planted on lime tolerant rootstock using a vertical shoot training system. Vine spacing is 4 feet between vines and 10 feet between rows, 1,089 vines/acre. Yields are maintained at 2 tons/acre. Vines are ENTAV certified, the 15 acres of Syrah being a diverse selection, divided into 5 vineyard blocks.
The 2016 vintage at Adelaida was exceptionally good, with very high-quality fruit and slightly above-average yields. The winter rainfall was higher than in the previous four years, budbreak was early, and conditions during fruit set were unremarkable—which is desirable. The summer had a few periods of very warm weather—in June we hit 100 degrees nine times—but that heat created lots of color. July, too, was warm, but it was followed by a beautiful, cool to moderate August, which gave the pigmented varietals time to recover and develop flavors.
Connect with Adelaida and your photo will be among the featured moments. Use #ADELAIDAWINES to share your experience.