Cattleya Wines The Initiation Syrah 2018
Dark and mysterious in the glass, this is Santa Lucia Highlands Syrah at is finest. Hesitant at first to show its hand, The Initiation unfolds with time, to burst with notes of blueberry, cassis, licorice, and bacon fat. Bright acidity and age-worthy tannin mingle with dark berry flavors to create a wine with immense aging potential.
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The 2018 Syrah The Initiation is another gorgeous wine from this estate that readers will love. Coming from a great vineyard in the cooler Santa Lucia Highlands, it offers a gorgeous perfume of blueberries, violets, leafy herbs, bacon fat, and sagebrush that develops and opens up beautifully with air. Possessing medium to full-bodied richness, a pure, seamless texture, incredible elegance and purity, and a great finish, it's another classic 2018 that builds with time in the glass and will evolve gracefully for 15 years or more.
Few Central Coast wines age more intriguingly than Santa Lucia Highlands Syrah. This wine is black as night in the glass, and offers aromas of asphalt, black pepper, caramel, fudge and black currant. The palate is dense and wrapped in polished tannins, carrying flavors of black plum, cassis, coffee and light vanilla.
Black-licorice, cracked black-pepper and violet aromas follow through to a full body with firm, silky tannins that are well integrated and manicured. Creamy and flavorful. Very blue. Drink or hold.
The 2018 Syrah The Initiation, aged 22 months in 75% new French oak, has a deep ruby-purple color and deep scents of cassis, charcuterie, dried herbs and peppercorn. The medium-bodied palate is fresh, restrained and grainy with a long, lifted finish.
In her words: Since my early teenage years, my dream has been to make wine.
At a very young age I was fortunate enough to begin learning how to make wine in France. I trained myself while working with some amazing winemakers who showed me the importance of loving the land, how to respect the farming itself, and to focus on the many details that go into making each drop of wine in each and every bottle.
While studying in Bordeaux and Cognac I learned the required viticulture, enology and microbiology (“wine science”); but most importantly, I was also exposed to the many rituals involved in winemaking–things like pruning, harvesting and bottling–that feel so special and meaningful each season. I told myself that one day a bottle of wine would be infused with the longings of my soul through fruit produced from a specific terroir that spoke to my heart. That place I have found.
Perhaps the most highly regarded appellation within Monterey County, Santa Lucia Highlands AVA benefits from a combination of warm morning sunshine and brisk afternoon breezes, allowing grapes to ripen slowly and fully. The result is concentrated, flavorful wines that retain their natural acidity. Wineries here do not shy away from innovation, and place a high priority on sustainable viticultural practices.
The climatic conditions here are perfectly suited to the production of ripe, rich Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. These Burgundian varieties dominate an overwhelming percentage of plantings, though growers have also found success with Syrah, Riesling and Pinot Gris.
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 Rhône Blends of the south, 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.”