2013 SYRAH, SANTA LUCIA HIGHLANDS
Almost a decade ago I began working with Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir (during my six year stint at Kosta Browne). I have been infatuated with the region ever since. The windy and fog laden microclimate of this Monterey County outpost is one of California viticulture’s most unique. As I have mentioned before, the Santa Lucia Highlands is arguably the state’s most dynamic Syrah growing region. Also, once again, my winemaking has benefit from the stewardship of the artful Mark Pisoni and Gary Franscioni. Their meticulous farming helps coax the true essence of Syrah. For these reasons, it is my pleasure to release the third installment of the Santa Lucia Highlands Villain Syrah. A blend of Susan’s Hill at Pisoni Vineyards (fifty percent) and Garys’ Vineyard (fifty percent), fermented with seventy percent whole clusters, and aged for fourteen months in twenty percent new French oak, the Villain Syrah expresses the perfect balance between savory and seductive. 145 cases produced.
An inky black color, the Villain is dense and beguiling. Its aromatics of violets, blackberries, dark chocolate, and cassis are heady and intense. The rich tannins blend with blueberries, green tea, tar, and crème de cassis. The seductive finish exudes graphite, chocolate covered cherries, boysenberries and hints of sandalwood.