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.