Originals Syrah 2018
The Originals Syrah vines are not only our “Original” planting, but they are the oldest vines in Ballard Canyon AVA. The wine made from these vines in the mid 1990’s generated the Syrah-planting fervor which eventually led to the publication of Ballard Canyon AVA. Because we withhold irrigation for months on end during our arid growing season, these vines have rooted deeply into our limestone in search of moisture. They yield small crops of tiny, concentrated grapes.
Heat spikes alone usually define vintages in Santa Barbara County. Here, we are blessed to farm without fear of rain, rot, hail, and humidity. In 2018, the only heat wave we endured arrived so early, on July 7; that the heat event didn’t impact the fruit ripening or flavor profile. The summer turned into a moderate, steady dream year when acids hung high as sugar slowly accumulated and intense, nuanced flavor developed. Because of the even, moderate weather, we harvested the Originals Syrah blocks 2-3 weeks later than normal. This extended hang time meant more flavor and tactile development in the finished wine.
AT THE WINERY
The 2017 Originals Syrah, when we isolated only the ridge lines of these mature blocks and only incorporated the Durrell strain (Estrella had also made the cut in all vintages prior), brought this cuvee to new heights. We replicated our 2017 picking decisions in 2018 and the result from this perfect growing season speaks for itself.
Rich, dark, brooding and mysterious. Breadth from touches of exotic red to dominate deep black fruits and tar. In the mouth, the front palate meets the great expectations created by the divine nose. As the wine seamlessly migrates towards the finish, an energetic lift carries through to a refined and smooth ending. Red fruit lingers minutes after swallowing. The 2018 Originals Syrah somehow marries two amazing worlds; one of black fruit on the nose and front palate, and one of red energy on the finish.