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December, 2011

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2009 Santa Lucia Highlands Syrah

The 2009 Novy Santa Lucia Highlands Syrah expresses itself as a truly serious Syrah. What exactly do we mean by that? Sometimes our Syrahs from the Santa Lucia Highlands have been so forward and accessible that drinking them early and by themselves has been far too easy to do. In 2009, however, many of our Syrahs seemed amply concentrated, but also tighter, with higher levels of acidity and tannins. The 2009 Novy Santa Lucia Highlands Syrah certainly fits that description.

The 2009 growing season was a long, cool vintage, coming to an end with late-October rains. We picked the various components of this wine on September 29 (Susan's Hill) and October 23 (Garys' and Rosella's). Each vineyard was fermented separately and aged in French oak for 8 months, at which point we blind tasted thru each wine, and selected barrels for the singlevineyard Syrahs and also for this blend. We racked those barrels together and let them rest for another 8 months, bottling them in April without fining or filtration.

The 2009 Novy Santa Lucia Highlands Syrah is a blend of 57% Rosella's Vineyard Syrah, 32% Garys', and 11% Susan's Hill Syrah. Despite, or perhaps because, of its serious nature, this wine received our finest press ever for our Santa Lucia Syrah blend, with a 93 point rating from the Wine Advocate. It was described this way, "The 2009 Syrah Santa Lucia Highlands is a beautifully rich, powerful red graced with exquisite finesse and elegance. Sweet dark cherries, flowers, spices and game flow from this large-scaled, sleek Syrah. Varietal black pepper, spice and licorice wrap around the dark, muscular finish. The straight Santa Lucia Highlands bottling is superb. It is the equal of most, if not all, the vineyard designates, and also costs less. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019."

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