Around 1980, I was introduced to Syrah in the form of Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie by Andre Tchelistcheff, who consulted at the winery I was working at for about 5 years. The idea was to give a frame of reference and inspiration to the young staff there for our work with their Petite Sirah. Several years later, my good friend Bill Mitchell shared many bottles of great northern Rhone wines and the hook was permanently set. In the early 1990’s I obtained plant material and developed the Syrah program at my then employer. I have been making Syrah ever since either as single-varietal bottlings or as multi-varietal blends. This bottling is drawn from Calypso and Lolita vineyards, combined in the proportions that balance each other and shine most brightly.
The aromas of new potting soil, dark fruits, sandalwood, blue fruits and a tad of black pepper give way to a nice savory entry, mouth-watering uplift that occurs surprisingly early. That uplift continues on to a delightful black pepper finish that morphs into rooibos tea at the end.