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Groundwork Syrah 2014

Syrah/Shiraz from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
  • RP90
14.9% ABV
  • WW91
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14.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Grilled cherries, swiss tobacco, raspberry brambles, rare steak, grilled peaches, pumice, evergreen forest, strawberry hard candies, mocha, cherry cola and creosote.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Coming from some top sites, including White Hawk, Larner and Watch Hill, the 2014 Groundwork Syrah is rich, full-bodied and loaded with fruit. It probably has a touch of residual sugar, but it's beautifully textured, is as quaffable as they come and offers terrific notes of blackberries, pepper, caramelized meats and spice. Drink it over the coming couple of years.
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Groundwork

Groundwork

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Groundwork, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
Sans Liege is my relentless search for independence. Equally aligned with the freedoms of the New World and the heritage of the Rhone Valley, I am careful not to hold too closely to either. Instead I trust an intuition of the microcosms of each vineyard site and vine to guide my work through each vintage. Tending fruit in vineyards that have captured my heart from Paso Robles down to Solvang, these sites speak for me and I for them; the only partners now on this path I tread.

CURT SCHALCHLIN Winemaker, Sans Liege Wines & Groundwork Wines

Santa Barbara

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With a dry and mild climate cooled significantly by breezy ocean fog, Santa Barbara County is a grape-grower’s dream. Part of the larger Central Coast appellation, Santa Barbara is home to six separate AVAs—Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez Valley, and its four sub-AVAs Sta. Rita Hills, Ballard Canyon, Los Olivos District, and Happy Canyon. The conditions here provide an opportunity for nearly effortless production of high-quality cool-climate wines. This is also the site of the 2004 film Sideways, which caused Pinot Noir’s popularity to skyrocket and brought new acclaim to the region.

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the stars of Santa Barbara, marked by trademark racy acidity, crisp Sauvignon Blanc, and savory Syrah. The region is also home to many young and enthusiastic winemakers eager to experiment with less common varieties including Chenin Blanc, Grüner Veltliner, Trousseau Gris, Gamay, and Cabernet Franc, making it an exciting area to watch.

Syrah/Shiraz

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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.

Perfect Pairings

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.

Sommelier Secret

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.

BUR403126499_2014 Item# 164823