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Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Collection Syrah-Shiraz 2010
Our San Lucas fruit develops a high level of concentration and intense blackberry aromas as a result of an extended ripening period due to the vineyard's sloping southeastern vineyards. Our Paso Robles fruit, on the other hand, provides red raspberry flavors and a rich, velvety texture. These two fruit selections when blended together with a small amount of Petite Sirah from Hames Valley produce a more complex wine that has depth, structure and profuse aromatics.
In 2010, we harvested weeks later than normal due to the chilly spring and mild summer months. It wasn't until later in the season that the temperatures warmed up, which resulted in extended hangtime for the fruit. At crush, we de-stemmed the clusters but some of the stems were added to the fermentation tank to lend a white pepper aroma to the wine. Richly textured, extremely aromatic, and beautifully concentrated from the extended ripening period our fruit received, this year's Syrah-Shiraz offers succulent fruit flavors, supple tannins and a tapestry of exotic spice notes.
Appearance: Dark magenta
Aromas: Raspberries, cherries, leather and leaves
Flavors: Plums, berries, pepper, nutmeg and cloves
Francis puts it best, saying the winery is meant to be "a wine wonderland, a park of pleasure where people of all ages can enjoy all the best things in life – food, wine, music, dancing, games, swimming and performances of all types. A place to celebrate the love of life."
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 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 region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. 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 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.