2012 Califa Syrah
This dark purple wine opens with beautiful deep black fruit aromatics with underlying savory notes of sandalwood, marinated mushrooms, and cocoa. Savory umami flavors on the palate are balanced by pure, focused fruit notes of macerated black berries and dried black plum that lead to an opulent mid-palate and rich tannins that will allow the wine to age extremely well. This wine will be best enjoyed from now until 2022.
Chamisal was the first vineyard planted in the Edna Valley in 1973 and now contains 80 acres planted to 5 varieties and 25 clonal selections. The nearby Pacific ocean creates a long temperate growing season for exceptional hang time, which combines with the calcareous, clay-rich soil to produce fruit with exceptional intensity and complex flavors.
2012 was a classic vintage. A very dry, cold winter led into a Spring with rainfall just prior to budbreak, giving the vines hydration at the start of the growing season. Spring temperatures increased quickly, generating rapid vine growth while warm, calm conditions during flowering ensured a healthy yield. A long, consistent summer provided even ripening with retention of acidity, and lack of harvest heat waves allowed for picking at perfect maturity.
The fruit for this wine was handpicked at night, then meticulously hand-sorted. Berries were then destemmed and gravity fed into small open top fermentors. After a three-day cold soak, a long, cool fermentation was initiated using native yeasts. Gentle pumpovers were utilized to optimize extraction. Following fermentation, the wine was racked to French oak barrels for 18 months with minimal racking.
This tightly focused Syrah is predominantly made up of Clone 383, lending ample black berry fruit. A small amount of Clone 300 was blended in, adding blueberry elements. The result is a balanced, fruitful wine with good acidity.