This wine is 100% Syrah from Bien Nacido, half from the older "X" block and half from the newer hillside planting of "Block Eleven". This is the same wine that we used to refer to as "Bien Nacido Reserve". We dropped the "Reserve" designation for two main reasons: we also make the "Bien Nacido Hillside Estate" Syrah which is more of a "Reserve" style; and, the European Economic Community (where we sell much of this wine) no longer recognizes the term on American wines because there is no regulated basis for "Reserve".
As always, this wine was fermented in small, open-top fermentors with twice a day manual punch downs. The "X" block had 30% whole clusters with stems included; the "Block Eleven" was completely destemmed. The stems on the older vines lignify better; their inclusion adds another dimension of spice and a bit more structure and tannin. It was aged in French oak barrels, of which 25% were new (mostly François Frères, with some Remond and Taransaud) for 15 months. It was lightly fined with egg whites and bottled without filtration. 2400 cases were produced including magnums and half bottles.
2001 was a perfect vintage with a long, cool growing season, no rain, and wonderful weather in September and October. Grapes for this wine were harvested between October 21st and November 8th. The aroma shows dried raspberry, blueberry, cinnamon and white pepper. The wine is full in the mouth with noticeable but silky tannins and great refreshing acidity. It will age for at least 15-20 years.