Our 2013 Syrah “sumu kaw” is our first release of the year, filled with dark fruit, herbs, smoke and meat, surrounded by balanced acidity and fine-grained tannins.  It is more restrained in tone than the exuberant 2012 (which earned a place in the San Francisco Chronicle’s Top 100 of 2014 list), and I find it to be a bit more “classical”, at least in the European sense.  It also seems to be drinking well from the get-go, whereas the 2012 needed some time to come together a bit.

Harvest was earlier than in previous years – we picked the grapes in two passes on Sept 7 and Sept 14, with very minor differences in ripeness between the two picks, roughly 22 brix and 3.48pH.  The fermentation was again 100% whole cluster and foot-stomped.  No sulfur or yeasts were added.  The fermentation took off immediately and proceeded smoothly, and the wine was pressed off after about 10 days into tanks to finish.

After the winter, we racked the wine into neutral 600 liter puncheons, where it stayed until it was bottled (in late November 2014) directly from these puncheons, unfined and unfiltered and with only 15ppm sulfites added.  The final wine has 13.5% alcohol by volume.

As mentioned above, the wine is a pure expression of the Sumu Kaw Vineyard’s volcanic loam soils and environment, very aromatic and balanced.  It should age gracefully for at least the next 6 years (as far back as our syrah data points go) and beyond.  It pairs well with more robust, full-flavored foods.  It is, for us, a great winter-time wine, evoking food cooked over an open fire on a cold and dark snowy night, maybe after a nice hike through the hills…

326 cases made.  13.5% alcohol. Screwtop closure.