While it may sound like quite a stretch, I often think of the northern Rhone valley of France as a southern extension of Burgundy as far as the temperatures go. Varieties are changed according to those temperatures. Syrah amazingly can sometimes channel that bridge between the Pinots of Burgundy and the richer dark fruited reds of the Rhone. ‘Sasha’ is the term we give to Syrah wines that are harvested a bit earlier and have more red fruits and acidity to them, showing that side of this versatile and lovely variety. It can come from multiple sites in some vintages and not in others. In certain vintages, we do not make one at all. It is completely a response to the growing season, site(s) which varies year to year and rodeo ride to ride. We do not always produce this wine in some years.
Floral perfumes similar to the Hallberg Pinot (honeysuckle and grapevine in bloom) with more savory flourishes as well. There’s more body and tannin here than the Pinot Noirs which push this wine into a useful slot for somewhat heartier dishes, particularly with a Mediterranean leaning. With so many Syrahs made in a ponderous, heavy, darker-fruited style, it’s refreshing to see this pretty side of the spectrum represented.