Santa Barbara County
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This blend of 90% syrah, 5% grenache and 5% mourvedre, all from Thompson Vineyard in northern Santa Barbara County’s Los Alamos Valley is one of our most robust offerings. Thompson is often quite shy in its youth, but not this showy 2006! A piney-ness and an exotic spice box character waft from a freshly poured glass. This is followed by a cornucopia of stone fruit aromas: plum, apricot and cherry. The flavors are rich and satisfying. This syrah will be drinking well a decade from now, but there may not be many bottles left by then because it is so delicious today.
In 2005 we began fermenting the Thompson Syrah in a different way, attempting to extract more of the flavors from the grape skins earlier in the fermentation. By mixing (punching down) the tanks frequently in the early stages of fermentation one extracts perfume and fruit. Later on harsh tannins from the grape skins are extracted as more alcohol develops, so we mix much less. This simple change of procedure has made a huge difference in the Thompson. While it is still a mouth-coating and dense syrah, there is a certain lightness of being, a freshness that didn’t exist in earlier vintages.
Blend: 90% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre, 5% Grenache | Alcohol: 14.5% | Vinification: 20% New French Oak | Barrel Aging: 16 Months | Total Production: 220 cases
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“More beef blood, tapenade, blackberry, leafy tobacco, and scorched earth-like aromas jump from the glass of the 2006 Syrah Thompson Vineyard. This dark plum/purple-tinged, layered, full-bodied Syrah can be enjoyed over the next 5-6 years. ” -RP 91 Points