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Stags' Leap Winery Syrah 2001

Syrah/Shiraz from Napa Valley, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    The black noble grape of Syrah occupies a profound place in the rich viticultural heritage of Stags' Leap. Our prized volcanic soils and warm microclimate are home to the oldest Syrah vines within the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley. From these rustic vines on this historic property, along with fruit from vineyards in the cooler areas around Napa, we produce an exceptional Syrah of beauty and finesse, says winemaker Robert Brittan.

    The power of Syrah has lured Brittan to craft Rhone varieties with a distinctive Napa Valley style. Our Stags' Leap Syrah is an elegant wine with a strong sense of place, says Brittan. Stags' Leap Syrah grapes sourced from the estate offer jammy, berry notes, while clusters from Brittan's personal vineyard near Napa contribute to the mineral, pepper and smoke components. The 2001 vintage expresses a classically earthy profile punctuated with red fruit and a hint of pepper spice, adds Brittan.

    The luxuriant 2001 Syrah welcomes you with ripe blackberry aromas and flavors burnished with raspberry and black cherry. Look for a touch of mint hidden among leather and tobacco. Brittan chose to protect the fruit's integrity by aging the wine in mostly used French oak barrels for 14 months-keeping the wood nuances integrated and balanced. A touch of Petite Syrah was added for complexity, and a solid structure of round tannins supports the long finish of this full-bodied wine.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Stags' Leap Winery

    Stags' Leap Winery

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    Stags' Leap Winery, Napa Valley, California
    2001 Syrah
    A fashionable country resort in the mid-twentieth century, popular with Hollywood due to its 1892 stone Manor House and historic gardens, legends of bootleggers and gangsters, ghosts and gypsies, Stags' Leap has been home to three major family groups up through the modern revitalization of the winery that began in the 1970s.

    Stags Leap Manor, as it was called in the 1920s, was known as one of the prominent country retreats in the Napa Valley at a time when resort and spa business was big. In addition to lodging and dining, amenities included lawn tennis, swimming, horseback riding, children's activities, golf, music, cards, a library, and Napa Valley wines and liquors (prior to and after Prohibition).

    An intimate valley within the greater Napa Valley, Stags Leap is a place of natural beauty, storied buildings and gardens, a lively history, and a reputation for elegant wines showing finesse and intensity.

    Napa Valley

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    One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

    Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

    Syrah/Shiraz

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    Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture, Syrah is capable of producing fascinatingly complex and long-lived wines with a stunning purple hue. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah’s best examples are found in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. It is also an important component of the GSM blends of the Southern Rhône and beyond, alongside Grenache and Mourvèdre. Both varietal Syrah and GSM blends are common in Australia and California and are gaining popularity in Washington State. In Australia, Syrah is known by the synonym Shiraz, which tends to indicate a bolder, fruit-driven style of wine, and is occasionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for added depth and structure.

    In the Glass

    At its best, Syrah shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper, smoke, and even bacon fat. Many examples from California aim to recreate this savory style, while others focus more on concentrated fruit flavors. In Australia, under the name Shiraz, it shines as that country’s unofficial signature red grape, producing deep, dark, intense, and often jammy reds.

    Perfect Pairings

    Cool-climate Syrah, with its peppery spices, is a natural match with flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb dishes, where the spice is more about flavor than heat. With Australian Shiraz, grown in warmer regions, heavy meat dishes with abundant protein and fat are a necessity to match the intensity of the wine.

    Sommelier Secret

    Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” this synonym for Syrah has been adopted by winemakers throughout the world. If the label says “Shiraz,” you can typically expect a plush, fruity, and potent wine made in the Australian style. New World "Syrah" will generally more closely resemble the French style.

    LSB81654_2001 Item# 81654

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