2003 Alder Springs Vineyard Syrah

This is our first Syrah, and we love it! From start to finish, we knew it would be great. The first sign was the berries the size of peas, then the black-purple color during the cold-soak, then the amazing intensity of flavor during fermentation, and then...and then...and then... The story could go on and on, just like the wine on the palate. Think perfectly ripe blackberries, stunning violets, black olives, and hints of charcoal. Flavorful, concentrated, and yet not too much. Drink it. Aged on the lees for 11 months in 80% new French Oak.

The dark ruby/purple-hued 2003 Syrah Alder Springs Vineyard offers up scents of chocolate, espresso, blueberries, black cherries, and cassis along with sweet tannin, a chunky, full-bodied mouthfeel, and a corpulent finish. It can be consumed now and over the next 3-4 years.
Robert Parker
/
Wine Advocate #168
December, 2006
/
90
points
Wonderful aromatics, with spice, beef, pepper, huckleberry and boysenberry flavors. Deeply concentrated and well-structured, leaving plenty of room for flavor yet framing it with acidity and tannins that bring out the best in the fruit. Drink now through 2012. 110 cases made.
James Laube
/
Wine Spectator
/
93
points
Saturated ruby. Captivating, complex aromas of black cherry, black raspberry, dark chocolate, gunflint, mocha and white pepper; just the nose of this wine makes the case that this is a terrific site for syrah. Superripe, dense and a bit unrefined, with intense flavors of black fruits, pepper and mint. This has the sheer fruit to support its big, broad tannins and major load of alcohol (15.9%). Hirby says he vinified and aged this syrah like pinot noir, leaving it on its lees until the bottling. (I also tasted a highly promising 2004, which showed more structure and less obvious sweetness; Hirby noted that the fruit enjoyed longer hang time in '04, but that the wine will be lower in alcohol and a bit less tannic than the 2003.)
Stephen Tanzer
/
International Wine Cellar
May/Jun 2005
/
91
points