Santa Barbara County
This is our first wine from Doug Braun’s lovingly farmed Presidio Vineyard. Doug has been making wine for years, and recently found this property west of the Santa Rita Hills appellation and planted it with organic and biodynamic growing in mind from the start. His first crop was in 2004.
I find his vineyard compelling for a few reasons. First and formost is the cool climate. The lack of heat preserves the distinct character of the grapes–their struggle to ripen at this windy site is essential for their unique personality. The vineyard is situated in a great spot on a gentle southerly slope, and the vines are planted close together in very poor sandy soil. Doug’s commitment to organic and biodynamic farming has been great for grape quality because succussfully farming without the usual chemicals requires a special attentiveness to the needs of the vine, which has a direct bearing on what sort of quality the vines will produce. Although it’s difficult to quantify all the differences between conventionally grown and biodynamically farmed fruit, perceptive growers I talk with think there are clear advantages to the natural approach.
The wine we made was immediately a standout in the cellar. It bears the mark of being grown in a particularly cool spot by its spectacular aroma of bright berry fruits and peppery herbal earthiness. There is a density and sexy, musky vineyard personality that is hidden by its freshness, but it will become apparent with age. Immediately after bottling in March of 2007 the wine closed down and hid most of its promise. However, now, a year and a half later it is beginning to show its stuff. With a good decanting it is perfect with savory dishes, though it still has years to go before it peaks.
Blend: 100% Syrah | Alcohol: 14.0% | Vinification: 20% New French Oak | Barrel Aging: 18 Months | Total Production: 101 Cases
Stephen Tanzers International Wine Cellar
“Opaque ruby. Exotically perfumed nose displays cherry preserves, blueberry, incense and a strong floral character. Lively red and dark berry flavors stain the palate and are complicated by floral pastille and cracked pepper qualities. Becomes sweeter on the finish, with the dark berry and floral notes echoing.” – JR 92 points