2007 Russian River Valley Syrah
From the cooler parts of the Russian River Valley, this Syrah demonstrates the finer qualities of the Syrah grape. Redolent of black pepper, violets, and a mysterious earthiness, it has sufficient restraint to be fantastic when paired with food — yet it offers surprising depth as well.
We have been working with several local Syrah vineyards this past decade, always looking for sites that offer very cool-climate character without being so cold that they fail to ripen in moderately late or somewhat rainy vintages. I also like to have blending options in case any one site does not hit it out of the park every season. Then I can blend for strength and harmony. In 2007, I had plenty of blending options and chose to combine different blocks from different vineyards in such a way that I did not have ANY vineyard designate Syrahs, just two different, beautiful bottlings. It is probably marketing anti-genius, but I feel it made the best wines this year and will probably continue this when appropriate.
This wine captures the seriousness, earthiness and black pepper of the Timbervine vineyard, yet maintains the floral, blueberry-infused sparkly verve and upward trajectory of the previous vintage Russian River Valley bottling which has been pretty much the responsibility of the Calypso vineyard. Aged for a total of three years in barrel, I left this wine alone without racking or fiddling about at all for its last two full years in barrel. The motive was to allow the wine to show itself without needing to leave a bottle open for three damn days first! This succeeded, yet the wine still likes being open for several days – well it is Syrah after all. 360 cases produced
Price at release: $30 per bottle
Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar
Bright purple. Wilder and more masculine than the Sasha, offering scents and flavors of blackcurrant, bitter cherry, candied violet and licorice, along with a smoky overtone. While the Sasha has a vaguely pinot aspect, this is all syrah. Deep and chewy in the middle and on the impressively long finish, where the violet and smoke notes echo. 92 points. Josh Raynolds May 2011
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