99% Syrah, 1% Viognier.
"The heart of the Estate is the Eisele Vineyard, an iconic and historical vineyard that leaves an indelible mark on the wines that are grown there. The Eisele Vineyard is affected by two water courses – Simmons Creek, which bisects the estate, and a small perpendicular tributary flowing from the east. These waterways have spread an alluvial fan of volcanic cobbly soils from the surrounding Palisades Mountains, deposited by intense storms during the wet winters.
Between the creek bed and the foothills lie gentle slopes formed from soils that gradually settled through weathering and gravity. In summer, when there is scant rain in California and creeks are dry, groundwater is available only at great depth. This extraordinary soil configuration allows deep roots to seek moisture in the stony subsoil. Combined with the cooling Northwestern winds coming through Chalk Hill Gap, it allows the vineyard to fare seamlessly under climatic pressure and offer considerable consistency in quality. Vines growing in these dry, rocky soils produce very small berries of thick-skinned, intensely flavored grapes.
Syrah was first planted on the estate in 1978. After making wine from the few remaining vines in 1991 and 1993, a serious commitment to this ancient and noble grape was made, increasing the plantings in the vineyard. Eisele Syrah is a profound, mysteriously compelling wine that reveals yet another aspect of the Eisele Vineyard's unique terroir.
Growing Season: A dry winter turned into a wet spring, with over eleven inches of rain in March that filled the vineyard soils to field capacity. What ensued was an ‘ideal’ growing season, with even budbreak, beautiful weather at bloom, and fruit set that produced a bountiful crop. The full-sized clusters across the Eisele Vineyard completed veraison by mid-July, and flavor intensity developed steadily throughout the summer. Warm days and cool nights over the length of the growing season resulted in daily temperature swings of up to 50 degrees, and these variances allowed the tannins to ripen harmoniously, while sugar levels increased slowly through a cooler than average September. Harvest of the Syrah began on September 12th and completed on September 26th. All clusters were hand-picked in prime condition during cool morning hours, preserving the varietal expression and freshness of the wine. The clusters were fermented in small tanks and aged in 50% new French oak barrels for 21 months; the wine was bottled in July, 2014."
The grapes were certified ‘Organic’ by California Certified Organic Farmers and ‘Biodynamic’ by Demeter.
Winemaking Team Notes: "This delicious wine shows dark, rich purple in the glass, and displays a racy nose of smoked meat, bitter chocolate, coffee bean, licorice and a hint of violet. In the mouth, it develops opulent flavors of ripe, dark fruit lifted by floral notes, ending with impeccably fine tannins. The 2012 Syrah shows tremendous purity and intensity, while capturing the expression of the varietal."