We've been telling all our WineAccess Monthly members that some of the most hedonistically complex wines of California, each a product of cool climate trial and (plenty of) error, are made from small berry Syrah. And Sashi Moorman's wildly opulent, beautifully crafted 2007 Syrah Estate Grown Santa Ynez Valley is a prime example of just what weve been talking about.
When Sashi Moorman brought in the Stolpman's Syrah in 2007, he was simply blown away. The super talented winemaker behind so many exquisite Santa Barbara County bottles, nursed every bit of juiciness out of these hillside vineyards, while retaining the fine acid balance that comes only from those brisk Pacific winds whipping through Ballard Canyon. The analysis was perfect -- high sugars with firm acid. But all Sashi had to do was bite into one of these small berries -- with high skin-to-juice ratio -- to know that this 2007 vintage was historic.
What sets the 2007 Stolpman Syrah (like neighbor Steve Beckmen) at the very top of California's totem pole? The vineyard is ideally situated on steep hillsides, organically farmed to yield less, but, most importantly, the clusters are small here. And when the Arctic air that flows from Alaska to Point Conception, it makes its way through Ballard Canyon, allowing this Hermitage-like Syrah to ripen slowly and evenly. In the dry, Indian summer of 2007, Moorman waited and waited, taking his own sweet time before bringing in fruit that was as perfect analytically as it was sweet and succulent.
So, we hate to beat a nail with a sledgehammer, but we wanted our Monthly members to enjoy what weve been talking about all this time -- the exceptional complexity that comes from estate-bottled, Pacific wind whipped, small berry Syrah!
"Inky ruby. Bright, finely etched aromas of boysenberry, blackberry, cracked pepper and licorice, with a smoky overtone. Deep, juicy and precise, with energetic flavors of bitter cherry, candied dark berries and violet and pastilles. Dense but surprisingly lively, with superb finishing clarity and alluring floral persistence. This wine is extremely attractive now but balanced to age."
93 points -- Josh Raynolds, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar