Arrowood Saralee's Vineyard Syrah 2011
Syrah/Shiraz from Russian River, California
The 2011 Syrah is densely aromatic with notes of smoked meat, black pepper and spice. The juicy palate is filled with raspberry and ripe plum flavors. Big, round tannins and toasty oak compliment the long dark chocolate-mint finish.
The Wine Advocate - "People often forget that Dick Arrowood was one of the pioneers of Rhone varietals in California, and did a bang-up job with Syrah from the Saralee’s Vineyard. That has continued under Heidi van der Mahden with the 2011 Syrah Saralee’s Vineyard. Made from 100% Syrah and aged 19 months in one-third new French oak, it is soft, round and richly fruity, with plenty of blackberry and licorice notes intertwined with hints of camphor and spring flowers. This velvety-textured, medium to full-bodied Syrah should be drunk over the next 3-5 years. "
Arrowood Vineyards & Winery
Richard and Alis Arrowood founded Arrowood Winery in 1987 with a philosophy of making wines of singular and exceptional quality, using grapes grown exclusively in Sonoma County. Richard continually explores the diversity of Sonoma County, working with mostly the same grape growers he began cultivating in 1974, as Winemaster at Chateau St. Jean Winery. Arrowood is known for making small lots of benchmark Cabernet Sauvignons, Chardonnays, Merlot, Viognier and Syrahs, among other varietals. View all Arrowood Vineyards & Winery Wines
About Russian RiverView a map of Russian River wineries
The Russian River Valley is named as such due to its proximity to the Russian River, the river itself named for the Russian fur traders who came down from Alaska in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The Russian River is agricultural land. While there is a focus on wine, beyond the vineyards are many small, family-owned farms cultivating everything from cattle to Christmas trees.
Notable FactsThe proximity of this cool river and the rolling fogs from the Pacific Ocean make the area amenable to cool-climate grapes like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In fact, the region is quite known for its full-bodied, yet elegant Pinot Noir, as well as their ripe, yet lean Chardonnays. Within Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. Chalk Hill is the warmer of the two and furthest from the ocean, while Green Valley is cooler and closer to the water.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.