Cabernet/Syrah Signature 2013
Viking Estate Vineyard
"...a very rich mix." Connoisseurs’ Guide
Australia championed a shiraz-cabernet blend back in the 1800’s where it became known as the “Great Australian Red”. In France, cabernet is planted in Bordeaux and syrah in the Rhône valley. Law forbids blending these grapes from outside their native regions, but there is a strong affinity here, cabernet contributing structure, tannins, and a flash of red berry fruit, syrah adding mid palate richness and dark fruit density.
"Cabernet and Syrah find a comfortable partnership here, and each clearly contributes to a very rich mix. Currants and blackberries are central to the wine's message throughout while scattered suggestions of olives, dark chocolate, and peppery spice lend a certain complexity all their own. The wine is big, ripe and chewy with plenty of body and heft, and, if tannin and heat most certainly leave their marks at the finish, there is nothing unduly ragged or coarse about this one and it will start rounding into fine shape once four or five years have passed."
— Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wine (August 2016)
Characterized by its gush of succulent fruit, there is immediacy to this wine: chocolate dipped mulberries, high gloss blackberry fruitiness, and sweet Christmas spice come to mind. Drink now through 2023.
AROMA: Ripe black cherries, blackberries, cocoa, nutmeg
FLAVOR: Creamy texture, blackberry pie, hazelnut coffee, Swiss dark chocolate
Korean-style beef short ribs and scallions, grilled pork tenderloin and fig skewers
The 16.5 acre Viking Vineyard is a true mountain site, located in the coastal influenced Paso Robles Adelaida District, 14 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Sitting on an extremely steep, south facing shelf of limestone, the site presents a challenging environment for growing grapes. Planted to three varieties, it is the focus of our Bordeaux program, emphasizing cabernet sauvignon (13 acres), and cabernet franc (1.5 acres) plus a unique small block of northern Rhône sourced Syrah (2 acres). The original vines date back to 1991 and were augmented with an additional 5 acres of cabernet sauvignon in 2000. Vine spacing is the tightest of all seven Adelaida Vineyards; 4 feet between vines and 8 feet between rows, 1361 vines/acre. Cabernet yields average 2 – 2.5 tons/acre, while the Syrah struggles to reach 1 – 1.5 tons/acre.
A further 9 acres of Bordeaux varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon (6 acres), Cabernet Franc (1 acre), Petit Verdot (1 acre), and Malbec (1 acre), were installed on a separate site in 2007, coming online in 2012. Grafted onto lime tolerant rootstock, the vines are drip irrigated and trained to a vertical shoot positioning system.
2013 brought a continuation of low rainfall and typical coastal mountain swings of warm days and cool nights. Harvested separately, grapes were hand-sorted, destemmed, moved through periods of cold soak, inoculated with yeast, and fermented in open top vats with daily pump overs and punch downs. Wines were racked into 50% new French oak barrels and matured for nearly two years.
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