Santa Barbara County
White Hawk vineyard is a series of rolling hills of sand about 15 miles from the ocean. This ancient sea bed is so devoid of nutrients that the vines struggle to produce a crop. Every July, when things heat up the vines almost give up the ghost, but somehow they struggle through the summer and produce a meager crop of intensely flavored fruit. Being in a moderate climate, the wine usually has a bit of warm climate fruitiness and cool climate peppery-ness. This 2005 possesses a powerful aroma of exotic spices and ripe black olives that melds into more saline scents of seaweed and earth. White Hawk is always so wild! While full of fruit, it’s not overtly fruity. The flavors are more complex than that—it’s both spicy and earthy. This wine drinks well now, but has the stuffing for ten more good years.
The fruit was destemmed into 3.5 ton stainless steel fermenters and chilled to 45˚F. After a six day cold soak native yeast began fermenting the sugars into alcohol. We punched down (mixed) the grapes three times a day in the initial phase of fermentation. As the yeast produced alcohol, we decreased the number of punch downs to avoid extracting too much tannin. When the fermentation was complete the wine was pressed. After a 48 hour settling the new wine was racked into French oak barrels, 20% which were new.
Blend: 100% Syrah | Vineyard: White Hawk | AVA: Santa Barbara County | Alcohol: 14.5% | Vinification: 20% New French Oak | Barrel Aging: 16 Months | Total Production: 588 Cases
Robert Parkers’s Wine Advocate
“Another offering with exceptional intensity, purity, texture, and depth is the 2005 Syrah White Hawk Vineyard. Sweet tannin along with blackberry, charcoal, blueberry, and crushed rock characteristics provide beautiful focus heightened by crisp underlying acidity. This beauty can be drunk now or cellared for 12-15 years. ” -92 points
Stephen Tanzers International Wine Cellar
“Inky violet. Hypnotic aromas of dark berry preserves, incense, violet oil and Indian spices, plus a sexy note of apricot. Succulent, mineral-driven red and dark berry flavors stain the palate, with velvety tannins providing shape. Gains sweetness with air, picking up notes of candied flowers and spicecake that carry through the finish. Impressively energetic, pure syrah that’s delicious now but will age well too.” -JR 93 points