My love of cooler climate Syrah is no secret. I have focused on a couple of sites in the western Sonoma County (most significantly, Calypso) to work with on an ongoing basis. Knowing that some vintages we may receive serious winter storm system before perfect textural ripeness in these vineyards – in 2009 I hedged my bets by contracting for small bit of earlier ripening Russian River Valley Syrah nearby. This turned out to be the perfect year to do this as we received significant rain systems interrupting what would have been ‘perfect’ conditions for stand-alone wines from the colder sites. Having a little bit of more generous material made the difference and gave us exactly what we needed to complete this gorgeous package. Blue fruits, white pepper, some wild game notes, tempting high-toned perfumes are the giveaway cool climate Syrah notes. As a baby wine, the mouth is still very firm and only vaguely yielding. Having been so recently bottled, this wine can use an hour or two decanting to really open up. A partial bottle saved for the second day to finish will reward you. This is where regional blends’ strength is in their resilience and giving the winemaker some attractive options to dial in quality. I think this is one of the strengths of our Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. It reflects a small neighborhood, year in and year out.