2011 Revolver

2011 was a tough year. Frosty and wet early on, cool and damp through the ripening period, it was a nail-biter, no matter what your appellation. About a third of my Carignan crop was lost in the spring, knocked down by biting cold. Another third was lost in the fall, dropped on the ground due to repeated rain events and the ensuing rot. Fortunately, the remaining fruit was concentrated, delicious, ripe, and perfect. So was the Syrah from Alta Colina Vineyard, for which I was lucky enough to make the waiting list. I took a leap of faith and co-fermented the two, hoping that the Syrah’s muscular and well-developed tannin would complement rather than overrun the aggressive Carignan. I hoped, too, that the brambly fruit of one would marry with the spice of the other. Now, like a pile of puppies, the finished wine challenges me to identify where one variety ends and the other begins. And, like a pile of puppies, it has stolen my heart. Dense and dark in appearance, the wine is redolent with jammy fruit and velvety tannins. A hint of licorice complements the spice and berry characters. The wine finishes long, and invites another sip.

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