In 2001 the Syrah reached great ripeness levels. The grapes are 100 percent estate grown, and 100 percent of the wine was aged in 100 percent French oak barrels for 18 months. Half of the barrels were new. We blended in two percent Viognier for spice and heightened fruitiness and three percent Grenache to add a touch of perfume.
We think of Syrah as Pinot Noir on steroids, so great care is taken to prevent excessive harsh tannins in the wine. Chalone Vineyard Syrah has intense blackberry and cherry fruit aromas with ripe, soft tannins and a lengthy finish. Our 2001 Syrah should continue improving for four to seven years. Match this wine's intense flavors with hearty beef or pork dishes. It's also great with barbecue. Experiment!
–Dan Karlsen, Winemaker
The Chalone Estate Vineyard is one of the most remarkable winery properties in California, and the sole winery within the Chalone AVA. The vineyard was planted in 1919, with the production under the Chalone Vineyard brand beginning in 1960.
Chalone wines speak to the unique terroir of this wild, isolated and high-elevation mountain plateau in Monterey County, located adjacent to the Pinnacles National Monument. The wines reflect a unique character that is attributed to the area’s granitic and limestone soils as well as the large daily diurnal shifts, ultimately resulting in wines with distinct minerality and balance between ripe fruit character and bright acidity.
The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast California wine district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley.
Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.
While the Central Coast California wine region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few Central Coast reds and whites. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.
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.”