Santa Barbara County

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Cool climate syrah rules! This organic and biodynamically grown vineyard planted near the town of Lompoc produces our most exotic syrah. Some people thought you couldn’t grow syrah grapes west of the cool Santa Rita Hills appellation but Doug Braun proved them wrong with his fabulous vineyard near La Purisima Mission.

This fully ripened wine is a powerhouse, but thanks to ever-present cool ocean breezes it possesses a fine balance of concentrated cranberry fruit and lovely peppery-ness. The striking flavors of plum, sandalwood and exotic spices linger on the palate. This syrah’s tannins have mellowed since bottling four years ago so it’s delicious now, and this aromatic beauty will continue to age gracefully for at least ten more years.

Some additional comments about this savory wine!

This is our second wine from Doug Braun’s lovingly farmed Presidio Vineyard. Doug has been making wine for years, and recently found this property west of the Santa Rita Hills appellation and planted it with organic and biodynamic growing in mind from the start. His first crop was in 2004.

I find his vineyard compelling for a few reasons. First and foremost is the cool climate. The lack of heat preserves the distinct character of the grapes—and their struggle to ripen at this windy site determines its unique personality. The vineyard is situated on a gentle southerly slop, e, and the vines are planted close together in very poor sandy soil. Doug’s commitment to organic and biodynamic farming has been great for grape quality; the fruit has not been pumped up by synthetic fertilizers. Although it’s difficult to quantify all the differences between conventionally grown and biodynamically farmed fruit, perceptive growers I talk with think there are clear advantages to the natural approach.

The wine we made was immediately a standout in the cellar. It bears the mark of being grown in a particularly cool spot by its spectacular aroma of bright berry fruits and peppery herbal earthiness. There is a density and sexy, musky vineyard personality that is hidden by its freshness, but it will become apparent with age. The wine drinks well now and is a perfect match for savory dishes, though it still has years to go before it hits its peak.

Blend: 100% Syrah | Alcohol: 14.5% | Vinification: 20% New French Oak | Barrel Aging: 11 Months | Total Production: 196 cases

Press Reviews

Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar

“Inky ruby. Complex, intensely perfumed bouquet of raspberry and cherry liqueur, fresh flowers, spicecake and candied licorice. Supple and sweet, with impressive depth and energy to its red fruit flavors. Picks up a darker blackcurrant note with air and finishes with impressive power and assertive florality. This wine should age slowly and gracefully.” – JR 92 Points

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

“The 2006 Syrah Presidio is super-impressive. An exciting array of dark fruit, leather, spices and licorice emerges from the glass in this vibrant, powerful wine. The Presidio possesses gorgeous depth and complexity, with hints of tobacco, leather, licorice and cedar that add further nuance on the muscular finish. Presidio is a biodynamically farmed vineyard.” -AG 93 Points

Wine Spectator

“Doles out ripe dark berry and pepper in even doses, both structured and well-balanced, with a finish that highlights the finer mineral and spice nuances and underlying suppleness.” – JL 92 Points