Friday, September 17, 2010

2008 Stefania Syrah Eaglepoint Ranch

Our 4 rows from the 1989 block of Syrah at Eaglepoint Ranch yielded 2.6 tons in 2006 and 3 .2 tons in 2007. In 2008 severe weather would limit the yield to just 600 pounds, or .3 tons. We pulled grapes from 15 other rows to harvest just less than 1 ton total. The grapes were picked early in the morning of October 1st and transported to Big Basin Vineyards for processing. We sorted the grapes and 100% destemmed but did not crush the berries.

Final Brix was low for the site at 25.5 and pH was 3.84. We added a small amount of tartaric acid to preserve the pH through Malolactic fermentation. Only native yeast was used in the fermentation and we again started Malolactic Fermentation in bin. The wine finished primary fermentation on 10/13 and was pressed and transferred to one new Sequin Moreau barrel and one old French Oak barrel. We did two additional rackings of this wine in 2008 to manage the tannins from the smaller than normal berries this year produced.

In early April the wine was transferred to Chaine d’Or for bottling. On May 3rd 50% of the new barrel was transferred to the Haut Tubee Blend. The remaining wine will have 33% new oak influence. As we sampled we felt that a 50/50 blend of new/old oak was too high for our tastes.

Final Alcohol 14.5% pH 3.71

Very dark and dense crimson color. Sweet floral nose with plums, berries and spice on the nose. More ripe plum, spice and pepper on the palate. With air the wine showed berry pie and pronounced black cherry flavors. The finish is lifted with a pepper note that carries the black cherry. This wine is as floral on the nose as past vintages with more cherry fruit. We've had no metallic notes in this wine and think the choice to wait until after the heavy rains around the 1st of October was key in removing any smoke residue from the vineyard..

Release Price: $99 per 3 pack, $180 per six pack

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