2009 SYRAH, BENNETT VALLEY
When I began Shane Wines in 2006, I sourced Syrah from three spots. The most remote of these locations was the Valenti Ranch in the hills of Anderson Valley. Each year it makes the most exotic Syrah in my line-up. I was extremely disappointed when forest fires prohibited me from bottling the 2008 Valenti Ranch. After losing one vintage, I could not be more proud to have the Valenti Ranch return.
The Valenti Ranch’s hallmark is its large tannins. These tannins are pushed to the limit with my extensive use of whole-cluster fermentation. So, with the 2009 edition I decided to let the wine age in barrel longer than any previous SHANE Syrah. Instead of the normal ten months in barrel, I left the 2009 Valenti Ranch in barrel for fourteen months.
The extra barrel aging helped soften the aggressiveness of the tannins. I think the wine is more approachable now than previous releases. However, there is still plenty of grit and structure remaining in the wine to carry it along for years to come.
Picked on November 1st, fermented with one hundred percent whole clusters, aged for fourteen months in twenty-five percent new French oak, and bottled without fining or filtration, the 2009 Valenti Ranch expresses the savory side of Syrah.
Heady accents of violets, black pepper, blackberries, and venison shoot through the attack. Forcefully structured and grippy, the wine unfolds into layers of nicoise olives, green peppercorns, currants, and cassis. The savory and fruit aspects intermingle beautifully. Subtle hints of tobacco leaf, boysenberry and chocolate mole linger on the strong finish.
DOWNLOAD TASTING NOTES