Deep purple-garnet in color, a classic Syrah color with a magenta rim showing this wine is still quite youthful. Aromas of black cherry, earthy anise and baking spice, opening to mocha and vanilla. Full bodied but with tannins softened just enough for release, this wine will continue aging for another 5 years. We find this wine has cherry, black pepper and dark chocolate flavors with mouthcoating tannins and a lingering finish begging for the perfect food pairing.
The Engbers Vineyard in Fair Play is dry farmed, leading to an inherent concentration in the grapes straight off the vineyard. We decided to do a 25% whole cluster fermentation to add a little stemminess and stem tannin to further bump up the structure of the wine. We put the whole clusters at the bottom of the tank, which allowed for some carbonic fermentation at the bottom that added bright fruit notes. We put the destemmed fruit at the top of the tank and added in several hundred pounds of pressed Viognier skins from a skin fermented Viognier harvested several weeks earlier, which added additional structure and fruity aromas. It is traditional in the Rhône Valley in France to incorporate a small amount of Viognier in with Syrah wines.
For cheese pairings we recommend semi hard to hard cheeses with truffle or peppercorn, like Point Reyes Farmstead Truffle Toma or Bellwether Farms Pepato. Winter stews or braised beef are excellent choices for main course pairings. Pork shoulder or Lamb shoulder are also excellent choices.
Aged in 33% new French, 33% second, and 33% third use French Oak prior to bottling.