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102 Cases

September, 2011

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2009 Susan’s Vineyard Syrah

The Susan's Hill Vineyard has quickly jumped to the top of our Syrah pyramid as one of our finest vineyards. This shouldn't come as a surprise, as the Susan's Hill Vineyard is actually the steepest portion of the incredibly well-farmed Pisoni Vineyard. However, what is remarkable is how quickly these young vines have started to produce concentrated and complex wines.

Yields were quite low in 2009, at just under 2.2 tons out of our 1 acre section (as opposed to over 3.3 tons per acre in both 2007 and 2006). This may have been due, in part, because this was the third year of a drought and the vines were a bit more stressed than usual. Fortunately, we were able to achieve good physiological ripeness, including ripe enough stems to utilize 1/3 whole cluster fermentation in the bins.

Four out of five barrels ultimately made it into the final wine. At just 25% new French oak, this wine is relatively unadorned with vanilla and oak. Instead, it shows floral, violet aromas along with hints of graphite and black pepper. In the mouth the wine is remarkably concentrated, complex, and yet also quite tight. With several hours aeration the wine reveals more of itself with dark berry flavors, more earth, pepper, and forest floor character, and noticeable but not overwhelming tannins. This is a Syrah that will undoubtedly grow in character with time in the cellar.

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