Santa Barbara County
There’s much about Duvarita Vineyard that is unconventional. Probably foremost is the farming, where biodynamic practices are employed. This method—basically a mystic’s mash-up of organic farming, astrology, homeopathy, and Wiccan principals—produces fruit that is often compelling and highly expressive of terroir. We’ve found this true every year with our Presidio syrahs (the vineyard’s former name), which come from grapes doted upon to the exacting standards of certified biodynamics. We’re not sure whether to attribute credit to the unseen “elemental beings” that coax the grapes toward ripeness, or simply the fact that so much more time is spent paying attention in the vineyard when farming this way.
In any case, we have always been fascinated by the wines we’ve made from this vineyard, which—biodynamics aside—is odd in that it’s a decidedly marginal location for syrah vines. Duvarita is way out near Lompoc, even further west than the already windy and chilly Sta. Rita Hills! It was planted in 2000, just as the boundaries of that venerable AVA were being established. At that time, it was considered a gamble whether grapes would ripen any closer to the coast, so neither Duvarita’s nor Puerta Del Mar Vineyard’s locations were included in the Sta. Rita Hills appellation.
Granted, it is a struggle to ripen syrah here. The gentle southerly slope provides some reprieve, but the fruiting zone of the trellising has to be low—partly to protect the vines from the relentless wind, and partly to capture some radiant heat and light from the poor sandy soil. We admire the throw-caution-to-the-wind spirit of plantings like Duvarita. We also find these marginal locations provide a more vivid and unique expression of vintage (when compared to warm-climate sites). That said, what’s consistent with this wine is its voluminous intensity, which was not expected from such a cool climate spot. It showcases elegant power and savory depth coupled with high-toned acidity, and has all the bones to age well.
We put our work with Presidio on hold between 2010 and 2012 as the vineyard transitioned into new ownership. But as of 2013 we commenced sourcing from this site once again, and bottled the wine under the new name, Duvarita Vineyard. The new owners are working on reestablishing biodynamic certification, a three-year process. Based on our fantastic 2013 Duvarita, we are excited to be producing this singular syrah again!
Blend: 100% Syrah | Alc: 14.0% | Vinification: traditional open top fermentation | Barrel Aging: 20 Months in French Oak, 10% New | Total Production: 116 cases
Antonio Galloni’s Vinous
“Dark cherry compote, pomegranate, wild flowers, mint and chalk are some of the notes that flesh out in the 2013 Syrah Duvarita Vineyard. A huge, relentlessly tannic wine, the 2013 is going to need a few years in bottle to fully come together but it is highly promising. The flavors are bold and pungent throughout in a syrah endowed with real personality. Duvarita was formerly known as Presidio.”- AG 92+ Points
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“”From a cool vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills formerly known as Presidio, the 2013 Syrah Duvarita Vineyard has a cool, spicy, peppery feel in its blackberry and blueberry fruit, crushed rock, olive, violet and smoked game-like bouquet. This flows to a medium to full-bodied, supple, beautifully pure and elegant Syrah that has ultra-fine tannin, a full, rich mid-palate and terrific length on the finish. Slightly understated at first, it’s a Syrah that grows on you with time in the glass and it continues to gain depth with air time. As with all of these new releases from Adam, it has the polish and fruit to offer immense pleasure today, yet this should be at its finest from 2017-2027.”- JD 94 Points