Otis Holt had been growing Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon for years until the winery he had been selling to decided to stop making Bordeaux varietal wines. We were introduced, and I saw the fine homemade wines Otis had made for himself over the years. But I was not looking to expand this type of wine beyond my family’s vineyard. Ultimately, I asked Otis to convert most of the vines over to Syrah as I thought it would be a great match for the site. He did his homework and selected many clones beyond my suggestions. This fine, tiny vineyard is growing in about as cool a place as I would put the variety, which is where I think the finest versions are found. It will sometimes have a hard time yielding great red wine in cold, wetter vintages such as 2011, just as in many places in the Old World have had to contend with. But that’s where our rosé saves the day. Depending on what Nature gives us, we can have something special and pleasurable every year.
The 2007 Sasha bottling was mostly from Calypso, but there was more than the 5% allowable from another vineyard preventing us from designating the vineyard on the label. While there will be a ‘Sasha’ bottling released this summer, we have kept a small amount separate as a vineyard designate that illustrates why I am so excited about this site. This wine has the pretty floral thing and blue fruits on the mouth like the 2007 Sasha. It also has layers of darker, earthy tones and some black pepper kind of like the 2008 Timbervine Syrah released last October, just in a more mouthwatering package. I think it will be several years before it is really at its prime, but as with our Cabernet Sauvignons, it benefits from a day or two of opened bottle experience.