2012 SYRAH, ANDERSON VALLEY
As Shane Wines has evolved, the sources and compositions of !e Unknown have meandered through appellations, clones, and varieties. When I created my first Unknown Syrah in 2006, I blended three vineyards and five different clones of Syrah. Now, in a farewell to the Unknown and to Bennett Valley, I have focused the blend on one site – the Judge Vineyard.
The 2012 edition of !e Unknown embodies all that is great about Bennett Valley and the Judge Vineyard. When the weather cooperates (always a challenge in this chilly appellation), the Syrah from this area o#ers an amazing balance of fruit and spice. The true essence of cool-climate Syrah, with a California twist, comes alive in the best years from the Judge Vineyard.
Fortunately, 2012 was a year this careful balance was achieved; and thus, the current Unknown release is a noble wine worthy of a last call. !e fruit is impeccable and the spice elements are exotic; this is an Unknown not to be missed.
One hundred percent Judge Vineyard, fermented with seventy-five percent whole clusters, Estrella River, 877, and 174 clones, and aged for fourteen months in twenty percent new French oak, the 2012 Unknown Syrah deftly blends California fruitiness and Rhone styled spice. 175 cases produced.
The Unknown exhibits an inky onyx color. The heady aromatics of violets, iodine, and ripe blueberries abound. Rich and textured mid-palate filled with blackberries, cocoa powder, and Asian spices. Textured tannins unfurl and highlight the finish with hints of white pepper, lilac, tar, and venison.