High-pitched notes of raspberry, blackberry, mint, sassafrass, bacon and chocolate form a virtual fountain of aroma coming out of a glass of this wine. It has as much of the essence of the Rhone valley in it as one could ask for from a California Syrah; and yet the black color, mouthfeel and finish are 100% California, with that unctuous richness and full-bodied intensity of flavor that we love.
Review: From a cool, steep, east-facing hillside featuring volcanic ash, next to Caldwell Vineyard in Coombsville; vinified with 30% whole clusters. Good saturated medium ruby. Expressive, complex aromas of black raspberry, smoked meat and white pepper. Sweet, ripe and rich, with firm acid and tannin spine framing the dark fruit, chocolate and smoked meat flavors. Still a bit youthfully unevolved but this is smooth, sweet, elegant and highly aromatic, with lovely lingering sweetness on the back. The pH here is close to 4.0 (the ash soil has a very high potassium content), but Hirby believes the wine has enough power and was afraid that acidification would have exaggerated the tannins and created a more muscular wine.
Abundant amounts of white chocolate, gamy meat, and black fruit aromas as well as a hint of subtle oak jump from the glass of the 2005 Syrah Richard Perry Vineyard. With a full-bodied, savory mouthfeel, expressive aromatics as well as flavors, and a supple finish, it should drink well for 5-6 years.