Eight Arms The Octopod Syrah 2013
From the winemaker: "Let’s face it. I love a great glass of wine. Why else would I be crazy enough to start my own winery! When tasting wine I like to experience what went into the making of it, from the terroir, to the vineyard, and finally the grapes. I want to drink wine for the experience of sharing it with friends and family, to evoke a wonderful past experience, to create a new memory, and to fall in love.
"As an artisan winemaker selling something special is better then being the least-cost producer of a commodity. Most people are looking for a connection between what they eat and drink and the person who made it or the place it came from.
"I strive to make the best wine possible, but won’t guarantee that they will taste the same from year to year. I want to be able to incorporate the variability of a growing season into the bottle of wine. Just like each vineyard will impart a different flavor and aroma profile onto the wine, each growing season is different from the last and this will also be reflected in my wine. I will also strive to be as green a business as possible, reducing carbon and fossil fuel usage wherever possible and purchasing grapes from organic or sustainably farmed vineyards."
Nearly a northern extension of Napa Valley, Alexander Valley starts just north of the small, Knights Valley, and is just a few minutes drive from the Napa town of Calistoga. It is Sonoma County’s hottest AVA. But the Russian River, which runs through the valley, creates cooler pockets and its soft, alluvial soil is ideal for grape growing, especially Cabernet Sauvignon. In fact, some believe that Alexander Valley Cabernets truly rival the best from Napa Valley and many of the heavy-hitter producers have largely invested here.
In addition to Cabernet Sauvignon, which makes up over 50% of plantings, Merlot and old vine Zinfandel thrive here. Ample, fleshy Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate white wine production. Some old-vine plantings of Grenache have also been discovered and more recent experiments with Sangiovese and Barbera show great promise.
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 Blends of Southern Rhône, 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.”