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Ampelos Cellars Gamma: The Complex Syrah 2010

Syrah/Shiraz from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
  • WE92
  • WS90
14% ABV
  • WS91
  • WS90
  • WE90
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The anticipation - palpable, the attraction - undeniable, the return - inevitable. This "black beauty" is back: drawing you in with her velvety deep hues, granite minerality and the perfect harmony of a lady wise beyond her years. With a nose of cherry cola, palate pleasing hints of chocolate and cracked pepper and a smoothly balanced acidity, she gallops with intensity from start to finish. A cool climate maven, she showcases the complexity of her terroir to the envy of those who race against her. She is a winner!

Blend: 100% Syrah

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
A pure 100% Syrah that’s got an elegant sense of restraint. Bright and compelling, the fruit surrounds classically delicious layers of black pepper and charcuterie, soft tannins and a vibrant personality that calls out for pairing with cured meats and sophisticated cheeses.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Dense and appealingly racy, with floral blueberry and violet aromas, featuring layered flavors of raspberry, pepper and grilled herb. Tannins sneak in on the finish. Drink now through 2022.
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Ampelos Cellars

Ampelos Cellars

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Ampelos Cellars, Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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Ampelos is a Greek word meaning "vine". We believe that all great wines are made in the vineyard, we also have strong ties to Greece, so “ampelos” truly represents our focus.

We believe in taking care of and respecting the environment and that our vineyard needs to be in balance, therefore a few years ago we made the decision to go 100% bio-dynamic. This means we are essentially organic - yet a step beyond. In 2008, we were one of the first vineyards to be certified as Sustainably Farmed, a milestone of which we are particularly proud.

Sta. Rita Hills

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A superior source of California Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills is the coolest, westernmost sub-region of the larger Santa Ynez Valley appellation within Santa Barbara County. This relatively new AVA is unquestionably one to keep an eye on.

The climate of Sta. Rita Hills is a natural match for Chardonnay and Pinot noir, thanks to the crisp ocean breezes and well-drained, limestone-rich calcareous soil. Here, grapes ripen just enough, while retaining brisk acidity and harmonious balance.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah accounts for a good deal of some of the most intense, powerful and age-worthy reds in the world. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah still achieves some of its maximum potential here, especially from Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie.

Syrah also plays an important component in the canonical Southern Rhône blends based on Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, adding color, depth, complexity and structure to the mix. Today these blends have become well-appreciated from key appellations of the New World, namely Australia, California and increasingly, with praise, from Washington.

In the Glass

Syrah typically shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper and even bacon, smoke or black olive. In Australia, where it goes under the name Shiraz, it produces deep, dark, intense and often, jammy reds. While Northern Rhône examples are typically less fruity and more earthy, California appears increasingly capable of either style.

Perfect Pairings

Flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb, grilled meats, spareribs and hard, aged cheeses are perfect with Syrah. Blue cheeses are perfect with a dense and fruit-driven Australian Shiraz.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” winemakers throughout the world have adopted this synonym for Syrah when they have produced a plush and fruit forward wine made in the Australian style. As an aside, Australians are also fond of tempering their fruit-forward Shiraz by blending with Cabernet Sauvignon, which adds depth and structure.

WWH134822_2010 Item# 145172