Baker Lane Estate Vineyard Syrah 2009
Nothing then was particularly exotic about planting vines in this part of West Sonoma County, that is planting Pinot Noir. Syrah and Viognier though were something of a different story. But, if there is anything about the unfolding narrative of California viticulture, it’s an ever-evolving picture. There are many sites now planted to grapes that would have been unthinkable 25 years ago. Similarly, as winegrowers seek to cultivate fruit with more precise flavors, acid retention and overall balance, the decision to push the envelope climatically becomes a natural choice.
Just as European winemakers have long championed the distinction of their terroir, we in California are legitimately celebrating their own sense of place. The vivid expression of vineyard character that cooler viticultural sites avails has driven this opportunity more than any other factor. Through 10 harvests we’re gratified to gather the consistent detail and character of their wines. Just as a child has to grow up a bit to reveal its personality, the accumulating collection of flavors presented by our family of wines is helping them know what their working with, and in turn constantly sharpening our approach to the care of the vines. It’s an exciting process to sustainably nurture our grapes and direct them in to the bottle. We hope that the fruit of our efforts is delicious for you as well.
Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa Valley, the region only produces about half the amount of wine but boasts both tremendous quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.
Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Carneros. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.
Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah makes an intense, powerful and often age-worthy red. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah achieves its maximum potential in the steep village of Hermitage and plays an important component in the Red Blends of Southern Rhône, adding color and structure to Grenache and Mourvèdre. Syrah is the most widely planted grape of Australia and is important in California and Washington. Sommelier Secret—Such a synergy these three create together, the Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre trio often takes on the shorthand term, “GSM.”