The Recluse is what we call our Broken Leg Vineyard Syrah beginning with the 2006 vintage to immortalize that little spider. The 2007 is 100% Broken Leg Vineyard. Like all of our red wines, we only use the machine for whatever level of de-stemming is desired. In this case only we de-stemmed 65% leaving the rest whole cluster. The Broken Leg vineyard also has Viognier planted so we picked a few hundred pounds with the Syrah to result in approximately 3% co-fermented Viognier in our final blend. Crushing is achieved via pigeage à pied (foot stomping). We do not make wine in plastic. All of our reds are fermented in open top wood vats and here we used our 4 ton vat for the first time on this wine which resulted in less temperature extremes and longer mid-range temps (in the high 70's to low 80's). Wild yeasts are employed without nutrients or other enhancers. We punch down by hand up to 3x daily which is an extreme work out in a 4 ton tank with 35% whole cluster! The cooperage was a mix of 1-3 yr old French oak barrels. Malolactic fermentation was natural and completed by early summer. The final blend was assembled in early October and the wine was bottled without fining or filtration on November 18, 2008 and left to bottle age for 9 additional months.
Charcuterie, white and black pepper, tobacco and leather seduce the senses immediately. Cherry, blackberry and blueberry all laced with floral hints and blood orange prepare the palate. An iron ferrous quality runs through with long and chewy tannins. The finish will linger with more notes of cured meats, smoke and mulberry. This Syrah illustrates why we love this varietal and will offer hours of enjoyment as she reveals her secrets (if you can wait that long).
"Lots of smoky leather and crushed black pepper in this wine, a clear sign the Syrah comes from a cool climate. Crisp acidity, too, giving the wine a bright mouthfeel. Might even have a drop of Viognier. There’s a citrusy lift to the blackberries and black currants. Should develop smoothly through 2013."
"Glass-staining ruby. Expressive, classic syrah aromas of dark berries, violet, smoky herbs and licorice. Sweet, focused blackberry and cassis flavors are lifted by tangy acidity and show a riper plum quality with aeration. A bitter licorice note adds a serious aspect to the long, peppery finish. Showing a lot of sexy fruit now but has the concentration to age."
International Wine Cellar
"From 27-year-old vines, which include a small portion of viognier (3 percent) that co-ferments with the syrah, this is tight and peppery, growing into a tannic beast with air. There's plenty of black raspberry flavor to match the hard tannin, along with a bit of clove-like Brett. Decant this for a wintry braise."
Wine & Spirits