We used 30% whole clusters in open-top fermenters before destemming the rest. Following a three-day cold soak, we inoculated with various yeast strains, pressed just before dryness, and inoculated for malolactic fermentation. We went into barrel on light lees for seven months before blending. The wine was aged for 18 months in François Frères Burgundy barrels, 20% new.
On the nose, there are enticing aromas of star anise, forest floor, and black licorice together with perfumed violets and dark ripe raspberry. This captivating nose is followed by mouth-filling flavors of juicy blackberry and sweet cinnamon and nutmeg rounded out by a full-body, soft tannins, and elegant acidity, as the fruit flavors ease into a subtle roasted coffee and sweet vanilla finish.
The wine is 100% Syrah from the Z Block at Bien Nacido Vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley. Z Block was our first “custom” planting at Bien Nacido, planted in 1992 on a perfect southwest facing hillside.
Santa Maria Valley
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