ESTATE GROWN — Columbia Valley

• COMPOSITION: 91% Syrah, 9% Merlot
• AGING: 17 months in French Oak
• BOTTLED: March 4-5, 2003
• pH: 3.85
• TA: 0.650g/L
• ALCOHOL: 13.7%
• PRODUCTION: 2,559 cases


Vintage

2001 started with a mild and short winter, resulting in no vine damage. Spring, although a little cooler than average, led to a complete flowering. The absence of rain made for a beautiful fruit set. Summer temperatures were average and rainfall was below average, resulting in very even and predictable ripening. September was warmer than average. This short blast of heat made for great structure, complex flavors and ripeness.


Winemaking

After picking, the Estate Grown Syrah was gently crushed into stainless steel fermenters. The skins and juice were allowed to “cold soak” for a number of days prior to the addition of cultured yeast. This process creates darker colors and enhances the ripeness of flavors. After fermentation was completed, the finished wine was drawn off and the skins were pressed. 100% of the vintage was aged in small oak barrels, the majority being from French forests, for 17 months. Gentle racking of the barrels allowed for the removal of solids without filtration. After fermentation a small amount of Gordon Brothers Estate Merlot was blended into the 2001 Syrah to enhance fruitiness and balance the wine.


Winemaker Comments

Deep purple, the 2001 Syrah shows sweet aromas of plum and candied fruit. Peppery flavors of berry spice and leather spread over jammy fruit. White pepper, cedar and smoky fig explode on the finish. Match with peppercorn steak, barbeque ribs or even Lobster.