Bonny Doon California Syrah 2001
We continue on our quest for the middle path. Having posited that syrah represents the eternal feminine, we are still searching for the proper balance between subtlety and power, delicate perfume and smoky meatiness, elegance and concentration. And while the French do employ the feminine article, la, the specter of this variety's modern origins in the testosterone infused terroirs of Hermitage and Cornas demand that la syrah exhibit considerable depth of flavor. We have once again blended vastly differing syrahs from various regions to push and full the final blend into a coherent whole. Grapes from Jeff Brown's Oak Park Vineyard provide an abundance of color, spice, wintergreen and the particular viande character which is one of the calling cards of proper syrah. San Bernabe Vineyard in Monterey produces a much prettier wine, bright, fruity – in the blackberry, raspberry range – and floral. Ca' del Solo and Chequera Vineyards provide a very potent core of richness and tannin with an exceptionally high-toned note of violet. Still very much the essence of yin, this quite powerful wine nonetheless has grip and stuffing out the yang.
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A major force on the global playing field, California is the world’s fourth largest wine-producing region on the planet and the majority of land under vine here is devoted to red varieties, covering nearly double the vineyard acreage of whites.
While the state’s incredibly diverse terrain and microclimates allow for countless red wine styles, the one factor unifying all California red wine is the abundance of sunshine and a long, consistent growing season, which leads to well-developed and fully ripened fruit.
Sonoma County, nestled between Napa Valley and the Pacific Ocean, claims great variability in geography and microclimates. Here world-class Pinot Noir is possible from Sonoma’s cooler sites while old, gnarly Zinfandel vines survived Prohibition.