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New Customers Save $30* with code AUGNEW30
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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 Barberas are also important regional specialties.
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.
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.
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.