It’s a struggle to ripen Syrah at Duvarita Vineyard. This biodynamically farmed site is planted essentially on the edge of Lompoc, way out West of the Sta Rita Hills appellation. The vines are often blasted by chilly Pacific winds, as the vineyard is right in line with the wind gap where the Santa Ynez River meets the ocean. Like vineyards in Champagne, this ultra-cool climate necessitates that the fruit be trellised just shin height above the soil to help it ripen thoroughly.
Ultimately Syrah does ripen here, in a way that is shocking if you’re used to thinking of California Syrah as jammy and flabby. Duvarita shows Syrah with all its racy and exotic potential—high toned and fresh on the palate, it’s loaded with flavors of fresh ground pepper and graphite, along with ribbons of cured umami and smoky herbs. That’s with entirely destemmed fruit too; we eschew whole clusters here since this fruit is so consistently wild and spicy to begin with.
The 2015 shows an inversion of sorts compared to the 2013 or 2014 bottlings, which show more dominating earthiness. In the peak drought vintage of 2015, low yields and warm weather provided a more luscious, ripe carpet of dark fruits all scored up with the savory singularities of this super coastal vineyard. We’ve endeavored to make this wine a bit more approachable while young, and this 2015 affirms our methods. Still, don’t hesitate to tuck this away for a long time if you’re good at that.
Blend: 100% Syrah | Alc: 14% | Vinification: traditional open top fermentation | Barrel Aging: 18 months in neutral French Oak | Total Production: 139 cases
“The cool climate site located just outside of the Sta. Rita Hills has turned out a Northern Rhône-like Syrah in the 2015 Syrah Duvarita. Structured, tannin, and in need of 2-3 years of bottle age, it offers textbook cassis, bay leaf, bacon fat, ground pepper, and tapenade. Possessing gorgeous purity of fruit, good acidity, and a great finish, it’s a stunner.” Jeb Dunnuck 95+ Points
Antonio Galloni’s Vinous
“The 2015 Syrah Duvarita Vineyard is incredibly primary at this stage, with little in the way of aromatic nuance that will surely develop in bottle. Inky red and purplish berry fruit flavors are very much front and center, with a level of sheer depth that pretty much buries the tannins. Floral top notes add nuance to the silky finish in a Syrah that needs time in the cellar to show off its considerable pedigree. There is so much to look forward to.” Antonio Galloni 93+ Points