The 2015 vintage was marked by significantly lower yields than previous years. Three years of drought plus cold weather at fruit set meant crop sizes were down 20-40 percent. However, the waterstressed vines produced smaller berries that were packed with color and flavor. Harvest kicked off earlier and was more compact than prior vintages, but the warm summer with little rain provided ample time for ripening. Though grapes were in short supply, their quality was very high.
We source our Reserve Syrah from the Hudson Vineyard in the Coombsville sub-appellation. The weather in Coombsville is moderated by its proximity to the San Pablo Bay. Fog cover settles more frequently and burns off later in the day than it does in areas to the north, thus frosts are mitigated. The vines bud early and the grapes tend to be harvested later, making for a slow ripening period. Daily temperatures can be as much as ten degrees cooler during the hot months than most other sub-appellations in the Napa Valley, with heat spikes tending to be less severe. All of this limits dehydration, preserves acidity levels, and generally aids in even ripening patterns.
We crushed and destemmed the fruit into two open-top containers and fermented the fruit over a 30-day period. The long fermentation helped extract color and integrate the tannins. After pressing at dryness, the wine was partially aged on the lees with minimal racking.
Judd’s Hill Syrah has a deep color, with aromatics of black cherry, blackberry, and tobacco. Rich and concentrated in the mouth, with notes of clove and blueberry, balanced acidity, and a chewy tannin finish.
With its robust flavors, lamb is a great choice for the Syrah. Try lamb shawarma or gyros, or, if you’re preparing it yourself play with your spice rack to magnify the natural flavors in Syrah. A vegetarian option is brined and grilled eggplant.
|Wine Style||Red Wine|
|Harvest Date||September 12, 2015|
|Bottling Date||December 6, 2017|