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Flat front label of wine

Cain Syrah (Torn Label) 2003

Syrah/Shiraz from Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
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    Winemaker Notes

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    Cain

    Cain Vineyard and Winery

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    Cain Vineyard and Winery, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
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    The Cain Vineyard site is truly spectacular, cradled in a bowl overlooking St. Helena from the top of the Spring Mountain District. In 1980, Joyce and Jerry Cain purchased part of the McCormick Ranch, a homestead dating back to the 1840's. The Cains were in search of a unique mountain property where they could realize their dream of planting the five classical Bordeaux varietals from which to draw one ideally structured wine, which would result as a blend of all five varieties. Jim and Nancy Meadlock joined the Cains in 1986, and in 1991 they purchased full ownership. The first Cain Five, the 1985 vintage was released in 1989. Cain produces four wines: Cain Five, Cain Cuvee, Cain Musque and Cain Concept.

    Spring Mountain District

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    Above the town of St. Helena on the eastern slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains sits the Spring Mountain District.

    A dynamic region, its vineyards, cut by numerous springs and streams, vary in elevation, slope and aspect. Soils differ throughout with over 20 distinct types inside of the 8,600 acres that define the appellation. Within that area, only about 1,000 are planted to vineyards. Predominantly farmed by small, independent producers, the region currently has just over 30 wineries.

    During the growing season late afternoon Pacific Ocean breezes reach the Spring Mountain vineyards, which sit at between 400 and 1,200 feet. Daytime temperatures during mid summer and early fall remain slightly cooler than those of the valley floor.

    Spring Mountain soils—volcanic matter and sedimentary rock—create intense but balanced reds with lush and delicate tannins. The area excels with Bordeaux varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot and in some cooler spots, Chardonnay.

    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.

    KOE167413_2003 Item# 167413