Hilltops Syrah 2012
In 2004, we planted the Ferrari of high-density vineyards. The fruit hangs low to the ground, allowing for more room to train the canopy upwards and ease the strain on the vines to pump flavor into the clusters. 7 wires run horizontally between stakes to ensure perfect shoot positioning. At 2.5 feet apart, the vines compete against each-other for water and nutrients, giving us low yields of intensely flavored fruit. As the name “Hilltops” signifies, these blocks crown the middle ridgeline of the vineyard with south-facing exposure. Ruben planted each micro block with different row directions to maximize photosynthesis. All factors combine to bring intensity to the 2012 Hilltops. This is the one wine that Sashi employed significant (40%) New French Oak aging to add further backbone to this aggressive wine. 75% of the small clusters fermented with lignified stems. The result is a fortress of a wine built for age. Unlike the 2012 Originals, the 2012 Hilltops will take time in bottle to hit its stride.
The deep and enveloping nose spreads out to lighter notes of Blackberry, sage, and toast. As the nose opens up, ripe black cherries appear backed by tobacco. On the palate, the flavor profile is high toned and the wine finishes with excitement. Notes of rosemary behind bright red fruit. The mid-palate will continue to fill in with age promising a decades-long life. The 2012 Hiltops arrives in the new, custom Ballard Canyon Syrah bottle with the words BALLARD CANYON subtly raised in the shoulder of the glass. The debut of the bottle, only used by Ballard Canyon grower-producers for Syrah, happens to coincide with the ideal, even 2012 growing season.