Santa Maria Valley
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This is an intensely flavored but completely delicious wine to drink. 2007 was a year where we had no heat spikes during the growing season, and at Bien Nacido the reds were more herbal than usual. While I was delighted with the pinot noir we made from Bien Nacido, this syrah confused me. There was an intriguing earthy-leafy quality that, as the wine aged in barrels showed itself as complex and interesting. As a result I decided to hold onto this powerfully intense wine in barrel longer than usual–it seemed like it just needed time to sort itself out. Wow, did it ever! After 28 months we bottled what turned out to be one of our most complex and delightful syrahs to date.
This fruit was destemmed without crushing and fermented in open top stainless steel tanks. After a 6 day cold soak the must was punched down by hand–frequently during the initial part of fermentation, and then only once a day towards the end. After 14 days the new wine was pressed gently with a pneumatic press, and after an overnight settling was placed in French oak barrels, 30% which were new. We held this wine in barrel for 28 months, and then bottled it without fining or filtration. It is now offered for sale after two years of bottle aging.
Blend: 100% Syrah | Alcohol: 14.5% | Vinification: 10% New French Oak | Barrel Aging: 28 Months | Total Production: 46 cases
Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar
“Glass-staining purple. Cassis, violet and smoky minerals on the intensely spicy nose. Juicy dark berry and spicecake flavors offer very good depth and power. Nicely sweet if a bit slow to open, with peppery and smoky qualities gaining strength on the back half. Finishes with firm tannins, a note of candied violet and lingering spiciness. This wine is still a baby.” – JR 92 Points