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