2011 SYRAH, ANDERSON VALLEY
In 2011, we continued to alter the composition of the Unknown. Instead of blending Viognier with Syrah (as we did in 2009), we chose Grenache noir. This year’s Unknown contains fifteen-percent Grenache noir and eighty-five percent Syrah. The Grenache noir provides a brightness and verve to the wine that integrates well with Syrah’s more brooding characteristics.
Our choice of vineyards also changed. We found an exquisite Syrah site in the Rockpile appellation. Amongst the craggy ranges two thousand feet above the valley floor, we sourced the Chapoutier clone from grower Ulises Valdez.
Further south, we harvested Grenache noir from an undulating vineyard on one of the Russian River Valley’s main arteries – Eastside Road. This temperate locale, known mostly for Pinot noir, provided excellent hang-time for the slower developing Alban clone Grenache Noir. As with the Syrah, the vineyard was farmed by Ulises Valdez.
Aged in twenty-five percent new French oak for fourteen months, with seventy-five percent whole cluster inclusion, the Unknown maintains a careful balance between spice and fruit profiles with firm tannic structure.
The Unknown imbues a magenta tinged onyx color in the glass and frames an aromatic profile of the same hues. Expressions of violets, blueberries, and white pepper are foremost. The sturdy mid-palate is congealed with flavors of espresso bean, blackberries, and graphite. Firm tannins highlight the finish and linger with accents of huckleberries, cola, and dark chocolate. Enjoy from 2014 and 2020.