Sta. Rita Hills

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A very original aroma of black pepper, herbs, and roots, this Melville syrah expresses what is so special about cool climate syrahs. I like them because, although they are fruity, they go beyond simple fruitiness-there is another dimension of enticing aromatic spiciness. This syrah has great density of flavor, but is not overly heavy. It possesses earth and animal flavors, and has mouth-coating and delicious tannins.

We took another step towards better balance and began fermenting in a different way. We are attempting to extract more of the flavors from the grape skins earlier in the fermentation. As a result, we are now mixing the grapes (punching down) more frequently prior to and at the start of fermentation, and doing less after the midpoint. The theory is that, as the wine ferments and gains in alcohol, that alcohol extracts harsh tannins from the grape skins, so extracting the flavors early gives more fruitiness and less bite.

Blend: 100% Syrah | Alcohol: 14.5% | Vinification: 20% New French Oak | Barrel Aging: 16 Months | Total Production: 238 cases

Press Reviews

Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar

“Opaque purple. Incense, spicecake and licorice-accented dark berries on the nose.  Densely packed, chewy and sweet, with a strong jolt of peppery spice on the extremely long, smoky finish.” – JR 93 Points

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

Wine Advocate #190 Aug 2010

“Classic blueberry and raspberry fruit along with notions of spring flowers emerge from the opaque ruby/purple-colored 2006 Syrah Melville Vineyard. From a cool climate region, this wine shows lots of vibrancy and definition in its deep, full-bodied, rich personality. This is a special group of Syrahs from Adam Tolmach’s Ojai Vineyard. Moreover, prices have remained stable, so consumers should be standing in line to buy these wines. ” – RP 93 Points

Wine Advocate #177  June 2008

“This wine is scheduled to be bottled over the next few months. The dense purple-colored 2006 Syrah Melville Vineyard reveals classic notes of black raspberries and black cherries presented in an elegant, seamless, medium-bodied style without the weight, muscle, and power of the other cuvees. Its refreshing acidity and sweet tannins result in a seamless, lighter-styled Syrah that is both intense and elegant.” – RP 90-91 Points

Wine Spectator

“A rich, sleek, pleasantly earthy style, exhibiting pronounced flavors of road tar, gravel, black licorice, celery, Bloody Mary mix and dark berry, with lots of pepper. Full-blown and intense, yet graceful, ending with supple tannins.” – JL 91 Points


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