Santa Ynez Valley


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Recently, at a dinner party, I met a couple who assumed all California syrah was sweet, fruity and high in alcohol and they were both sure that the wine I was about to serve them was not something they would like. But I convinced them to try a sip of this 2013 bottling from John Sebastiano vineyard, explaining that it had a lot more in common with the lively wines from the northern Rhone Valley of France—there syrah is exotic, peppery, and marked by savory and earthy characteristics and is almost always quite moderate in alcohol.

Taste is such a personal thing so I had no idea what they would think, but was gratified they took an immediate liking to this wine. Here at the winery we think it’s the cat’s meow, it has a big personality that possesses great elegance.

Blend: 100% Syrah | Alc: 13.5% | Vinification: traditional open top fermentation with 20% whole clusters | Barrel Aging: 20 Months in Neutral French Oak | Total Production: 427

Press Reviews

Antonio Galloni’s Vinous

“Dark red cherry, plum, smoke and spice notes flesh out in the 2013 Syrah John Sebastiano Vineyard. A rich, ample wine, the 2012 dazzles with its depth and soft contours, although there is plenty of underlying weight and structure. The 2013 was made with fully destemmed fruit, so the fruit remains front and center. This fleshy, super-expressive Syrah will drink beautifully pretty much right out of the gate. Tasted next to the No SO2 bottling, the straight John Sebastiano Syrah is a bit less exuberant, but it, too, is very beautiful. This wind-swept site is one of the most pedigreed vineyards in the Sta. Rita Hills.”- AG 93+ Points

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

“The 2013 Syrah John Sebastiano Vineyard is another beautifully pure, polished and rounded Syrah from Adam that gives up the classic Sta. Rita Hills aromas and flavors of black raspberry, olive brine, lavender, licorice and a certain saltiness that’s so common from the region. Completely destemmed and from a windswept vineyard located on the warmer, eastern side of the appellation, this medium to full-bodied Syrah has no hard edges, a sexy, layered texture, solid balance and sweet tannin that come through on the finish. It’s hard to resist already, yet it should continue to impress through 2025.”- JD 93 Points

2013 John Sebastiano SYRAH One Sheet