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Brander Santa Ynez Valley Syrah 2014

Syrah/Shiraz from Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    This versatile wine - as always, a tremendous value- exemplifies Santa Barbara County Syrah. The hue of dried dark red rose petals, this opens with notes of vanilla bean, campfire smoke, cardamom, and the barest hint of iodine on the nose. Fruit of great purity appears on the palate, which offers violets, black cherry, clove, wild blueberries, and an almost subliminal sense of what the French refer to as "sauvage" - that combination of wild and earthy gaminess that is such a hallmark of classic Syrah. Pair this with grilled, paprika-dusted eggplant with homemade ricotta, Santa Maria-style tri-tip barbecue, or a plate of dry-cured olives with fresh burrata and a chunk of deliciously crusty bread.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Brander

    The Brander Vineyard

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    The Brander Vineyard, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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    The planting of the Brander Vineyard to mainly Bordeaux varietals began in 1975. In 1977, the first harvest of Sauvignon Blanc grapes were taken to a neighboring winery where Fred Brander produced a wine so distinctive it captured Santa Barbara County's first gold medal for a wine at a major wine competition (1978 Los Angeles County Fair).Since its inception, the Brander vineyard has been highly acclaimed as a top Sauvignon Blanc producer, and for many years the only Brander wine was an estate-bottled Sauvignon Blanc. Today, the winery produces an average of 8,000 cases of wine from its 43 acres of vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley. The focus on production is Sauvignon Blanc, with one main bottling and three distinctively different reserve bottlings of that variety. A small quantity of red wines is also produced with Merlot and our Bordeaux-blend called Bouchet being the most popular.

    Santa Ynez Valley

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    Ranging from cool and foggy in the west to warm and dry in the east, the Santa Ynez Valley is a climatically diverse growing area. The most expansive AVA within the larger Santa Barbara County region, Santa Ynez is also home to a wide variety of soil types and geographical features. The appellation is further divided into four distinct sub-AVAs—Sta. Rita Hills, Ballard Canyon, Los Olivos District and Happy Canyon—each with its own defining characteristics.

    A wide selection of grapes is planted here—more than sixty different varieties, and counting. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir dominate in the chilly west, while Zinfandel, Rhône blends, and Bordeaux blends rule the arid east. Syrah is successful at both ends of the valley, with a lean and peppery, Old-World sensibility closer to the coast and lush berry fruit further inland.

    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.

    WWH136790_2014 Item# 144786