We first met Don and Dianne Bliss at our first barrel tasting in 1992. Don was taken prisoner by our Zinfandel that day, and has generously offered support and assistance in many ways since that day. Lately, he has been an essential part of our operation, and a welcome intelligent mind to bounce winemaking and grape growing ideas around with. When the Blisses planted their Pinot Noir vineyard several years ago, we agreed that if they were bold enough to plant a small amount of Syrah in their ‘barely warm enough for Syrah’ site, we would be bold enough to make the wine from it each year, rain or shine.
More like a Northern Rhone than an Australian Shiraz, this has white pepper, blueberry perfumes, notes of smoked meats and a firm Pinot Noir lovers’ mouthfeel. Do not buy this wine if you prefer Australian wine to Côte Rôtie. This wine needs and wants little or no new oak. It is complete on its own. We are so encouraged by the first two vintages that the Blisses are planning to convert some of their adjacent Pinot Noir to Syrah this next season.
Judi Scherrer –
Connoisseur’s Guide – July 2005
The unmistakable smell of smoked meats spices up the nose of this ripe, deep and exceptional wine. It delivers a wealth of black fruit redolent of blackberry and dried plum, and its rich veneer of creamy oak adds yet another layer of interest and complexity. Full-bodied and wonderfully well-polished in fell, this supple, slightly fleshy effort is a bit reminiscent of a ripe Pinot in its feel on the palate, but is all Syrah at its heart. It is delicious even at this writing but will age in a few years. 91 Points. 2 puffs