Santa Barbara County

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White Hawk vineyard produced its first crop in 2000 and the wine we made from those grapes was so bizarre that I chose to blend it into our Santa Barbara County bottling. The unusualness of its expression of syrah scared me that year, but I began to understand it a bit better by 2001 when we begun bottling it as a single vineyard wine. What I didn’t understand at the time was that great vineyards have large personalities and nobody has ever made a great wine from a vineyard that is pleasant and innocuous. This was an important lesson to learn, and it has been great fun to see White Hawk’s fascinating iodine and seaweed aromatics express themselves through the vintages.

At this site the most compelling wines are produced in years where we catch the fruit at the optimal ripeness, the point where the grapes are sweet but still fresh and peppery, and that’s just what we did in 2012. This made for a wine that drinks well today, but will continue to evolve for many years.

Blend: 100% Syrah | Vineyard: White Hawk | AVA: Santa Barbara County | Alcohol: 14.0% | Vinification: 10% New French Oak Traditional open top fermentation 15% whole clusters | Barrel Aging: 16 Months | Total Production: 237 Cases

Press Reviews

Antonio Galloni’s Vinous

“The 2012 Syrah White Hawk Vineyard is quite distinctive in this vintage. Just starting to show a bit of aromatic complexity, the 2012 offers striking nuance. Tobacco, licorice, earthiness and grilled herbs wrap around a core of dark fruit in this intriguing, beautifully layered Syrah. The 2012 is an excellent choice for drinking now and over the next handful of years. This is the most expressive of the three 2012 Syrahs I tasted.”- AG 94 Points

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

“More rounded, supple and open knit than the darker-colored 2011, the 2012 Syrah White Hawk Vineyard offers fruit-forward notes of marine-like minerality, sweet blueberry, blackberry, leafy herbs and licorice to go with a medium to full-bodied, rounded, ready-to-go feel on the palate. This beautiful wine will drink nicely over the coming 5-6+ years.” – JD 92 Points