Sta. Rita Hills
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John Sebastiano Vineyard was planted in 2007 and produced its first crop in 2010. It’s located on the northeastern edge of the Santa Rita Hills appellation way up in the hills so it catches the ferocious winds that come in from the ocean at Vandenberg Air Force Base. The vines were planted on a steep western slope and the soil has quite a bit of clay with some shale-y bits that pop through here and there. The vines struggle to develop a full canopy of leaves and the fruit ripens late, but each year the wine possesses a complex ethereal aroma with a softness and approachability.
I’ve found over the years that either a vineyard has “it” or it doesn’t, and right from the start John Sebastiano Syrah has possessed a strong cool climate personality and I just love it. The aroma and flavor are so compellingly exotic and complex, yet it’s our most gentle and easygoing Syrah, the tannins are silky and fine.
Blend: 100% Syrah | Alc: 13% | Vinification: Traditional open top fermentation, 25% whole clusters| Barrel Aging: 17 months, mostly neutral French oak | Total Production: 307 cases
“A head-turner that would stand up easily in a blind flight of top Côte Rôties, the 2016 Syrah John Sebastiano Vineyard boasts a ruby/purple hue as well as perfumed notes of black raspberries, violets, flowery incense, and cedar. Medium-bodied, utterly seamless, and beautifully balanced, it’s a knockout bottle of Syrah from a great vineyard and great winemaking team! It will keep for at least a decade. ” Jeb Dunnuck – 94 points
Antonio Galloni’s Vinous
“The 2016 Syrah John Sebastiano is a wild, powerful wine. Game, smoke, black pepper, licorice, tobacco and incense add striking aromatic nuance. On the palate, the John Sebastiano is powerful, resonant and weighty. The 2016 will appeal most to reader who appreciate the gamier, more animal side of Syrah. I find the 2016 a bit rustic, but there is certainly no lack of personality. ” Antonio Galloni – 92 points