road tar, deep dark black and blue fruits, floral.
2014 was the third consecutive vintage of superlative fruit quality. The year began under the drought conditions, but we received two very well timed and high volume rains in February and March that provided the vines with the hits of water that they needed to kick start the season. Bud-break was perhaps 10-14 days earlier than 'normal' but with a cool spring, the actual flowering was approximately a week earlier than 'normal'. Crop load was good, like 2012 and 2013, so fruit thinning was essential to quality. Mountain vineyards were ok with one to two thinning passes, where the valley floor sites normally required two or more passes to get a more balanced load. When all the fruit was in, we all looked back on our third straight high quality vintage.
The 2014 Syrah is the much more classic California than previous versions. This was fermented, destemmed and in an open top tank using mostly pump-overs. The 2014 was pressed just before it went dry and completed its fermentation in barrel with its original wild yeast and wild malolactic bacteria. The majority of the new wood was Francois Frères (all 3 year, air dried), and an increasing amount of Meyrieux barrels. Like all our wines, this went to bottle unfined and unfiltered.