Santa Maria Valley
Great, Hearty, Exotic Thompson Syrah
Sure, you could drink a perfectly serviceable red wine tomorrow night. But instead you could choose to have us send you a mind blowing, exotic and complex syrah/mourvedre/grenache blend from the fabulous Thompson Vineyard.
We lovingly directed the farming of this naturally well endowed vineyard, carefully crafted a wine that respects the individuality and distinctiveness of this blessed spot and then bottled and aged it in our temperature controlled cellars for years until it revealed its beautiful harmony.
Thompson has always produced our most gigantic and tannic wines. And while the early ones were and are big, boisterous, and especially delicious for a mid-winter’s hearty stew, I felt there had to be a way to bring some finesse to this wine without compromising its rich appeal.
For this 2007, a few things worked in our favor. First, the weather was perfect for this warmish spot—which is to say we had a very moderate summer and fall without any heat spikes. Heat is a killer of nuanced aromas, literally burning the character out of the fruit. Second, since the previous winter was extremely dry, the fruit that the vines produced was small and concentrated. And third, our program since 2002 to add small amounts of grenache and mourvedre to provide greater complexity and flavor interest for the syrah really helped make this a complete and satisfying wine.
Unusual for a Thompson of this age, this wine has a very open and appealing aroma. A bit of mintyness melds nicely with the southern Rhonish fruitiness that is so characteristic of Thompson. A big rich wine that will age easily for another ten years, it is nonetheless entirely enjoyable today.
Blend: 90% Syrah, 5% Grenache, 5% Mourvèdre | Alcohol: 14.5% | Vinification: 20% New French Oak | Barrel Aging: 18 Months | Total Production: 195 cases
Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar
“Opaque purple. Oak-spiced dark berry preserve and cherry on the nose, with hints of dried violet and cracked pepper adding complexity. Sweet, expansive dark fruit flavors provide impressive palate coverage and pick up floral pastille and spice notes in the mid-palate. Fruitier than the straight Santa Barbara bottling, with no rough edges and a long, sweet finish.” – JR 91 Points
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
The 2007 Syrah Thompson wafts from the glass with high-toned floral aromatics that lead into dark red fruit, flowers, licorice, mint and spices. This is just over 75% Syrah, with the remainder Grenache and Mourvedre. It is one of the more feminine wines among these Syrahs and is quite beautiful.” – AG 92 Points