Santa Barbara County
So close to White Hawk Vineyard, and yet Thompson Vineyard is a completely different expression of syrah. It is big, chunky, and fruity. Compared to the White Hawk, its spiciness lurks more in the background and has a very different character. Instead of being oceanic, it is rather like some exotic spice-cardamom perhaps. And besides the fruit, there is always an animal character to this wine that is quite provocative. Like all the Thompson syrahs we have made, this wine is for someone willing to wait. You could drink them young if you wanted, but you’d be committing infanticide. The 1997 (Henry Daniel) and the 1998 are just beginning to open up–but that is about it; the younger vintages need more time. This particular wine is less tannic than the 2000 or the 1999, and has great balance. It’s not over-the-top, but that being said, it still needs quite a few years before it will be at its best.