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92 points Vinous
The 2015 Syrah Estate (Sta. Rita Hills) is very pretty, but like all of these 2015s, it also needs time to be at its best. Floral and lifted, with tons of energy and tannin, the 2015 is shaping up to be a real beauty. Hints of lavender, licorice, smoke, plum and black cherry build into the super-expressive finish in this soulful midweight Syrah from Melville. (AG) (9/2017)
91 points Jeb Dunnuck
The 2015 Syrah Sta. Rita Hills is another terrific wine that's always a good value. Black olives, pepper, gamey meats and both kirsch and blacker fruits all emerge from this elegant, seamless and lightly textured style that has tons of character. Drink it over the coming 3-4 years. (8/2017)
The fruit for this wine comes exclusively from our Sta. Rita Hills estate and is a combination of two different Syrah clones (Estrella and Clone 99). The Estrella is from Donna’s block which is planted on well drained, nutrient deficient sand. The neutrality of this soil always lends an intoxicating and high toned bouquet of flowers and spice while the Clone 99 from Block I is planted on denser sandy loam soil, bringing depth and richness to the resultant wine. 70% of the fruit was gently de-stemmed with 30% remaining as whole clusters and was fermented in small 1.5 ton open top fermenters. Total skin and stem contact averaged 30 days (7 day cold soak, 2+ weeks fermentation, and 1+ week extended maceration). From the press the wine was transferred directly to neutral barrels (5-20 year old French oak) where it remained sur lie with no sulfur until May when it was gently pressure racked for the first time and prepared for bottling in August. Yields were 2.9 lbs/vine (2.5 tons per acre).
Tasting Notes: Soft garnet in color, with delicate fruit notes of plum skin, Asian pear and blueberry cobbler emerging up front. On the palate, intriguing components of pink peppercorn, cocoa powder, charred marshmallow and black olive mingle with impressions of dried rosemary and sage along with genoa salami, peppered jerky and honey ham glaze. The mouthfeel is tender and possesses a subtle streak of fresh acidity that frames the wine’s elegant and vibrant finish.
AVA: Sta. Rita Hills
Production: 1,954 cases
Varietal: 100% Syrah
Clones: Estrella, Clone 99
Fermentation: 30% whole cluster
Elevage: Aged in neutral barrel (5-20 year old French oak)