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Clos Saron Heart of Stone 2005
Syrah 98%, Viognier 2%. Fermented on the stems in an open top wood vat.
No commercial yeast or M/L inoculation.
No acid corrections.
No SO2 additions during barrel aging.
No unnecessary racking or pumping.
Our grapes are crushed within 20 minutes from the time they are harvested. The must ferments in old-fashioned open-top oak fermenters. These, as well as our fine barrels, are coopered by the Rousseau family in Gevrey Chambertin (Burgundy). The wine is aged on its lees for as long as necessary, often until the day of bottling. It is then bottled manually, directly from barrel. My name is Gideon Beinstock. I have been involved in just about every possible aspect of the wine industry over the past 25 years: consumer, buyer, seller, educator, writer, and - for 10 years now - maker. Saron, my wife and inspiration, has many years of experience in viticulture, and a magic touch with all living things: dogs, cats, chickens, rabbits, bees, even little human kids. We have decided to dive into this dubious financial adventure out of many other-than-commercial reasons: love of wine (especially Pinot Noir), love of outdoors work (especially viticulture), the artistic challenge (we both had artistic aspirations and education), and our wish to do something productive in our lives. Wine is for us an integral part of our lives, a source of enjoyment, and an endlessly expanding horizon to explore. We hope our wines will enhance your life in similar ways.
Originally a source of oenological sustenance for gold-seeking miners of the mid-1800s, the Sierra Foothills was the first region in California to produce wines from European grape varieties. Located between Sacramento and the Nevada border, this area’s immigrant settlers chose to forgo growing the then-ubiquitous Mission grape and instead brought with them superior vines from the Old World to plant alongside mining camps.
Zinfandel has been the most important variety of this region since its inception, taking on a spicy character with brambly fruit and firm structure. Amador and El Dorado counties, benefiting from the presence of volcanic and granite soils, are home to the best examples. Bold, robust Rhône Blends and Barbera are also important regional specialties.
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.
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.
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.