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Limerick Lane Syrah / Grenache 2014

Rhone Red Blends from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
  • RP90
14.4% ABV
  • WE94
  • WE95
  • RP93
  • RP95
  • RP93
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14.4% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Spicy and chewy Syrah provides a gorgeous foundation and the fresh bright strawberry flavors of Grenache accentuate and highlight the nuances of the Syrah. This wine pairs effortlessly with a wide variety of foods, regardless of season, and almost begs to initiate conversation, laughter, and cheer. While unquestionably “made” in the vineyard and by the unique climate that our estate affords us, this wine was inspired and finds its place thanks to the rich culture and lifestyle exemplified in the southern Rhone and Provence.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2014 Syrah/Grenache blend (67% Syrah and 33% Grenache) is also aged the same amount of time in neutral oak, but production is slightly larger at 580 cases. This wine has a Mediterranean personality. Notes of lavender, ground pepper, blackcurrants, black cherries, raw meat and smoked game are all present in this full-bodied, richly fruity, Rhône-like wine. It has light tannins, loads of fruit, a voluptuous mouthfeel and should drink well for the next 5-6 years. Alcohol here is relatively moderate at 14.4%.
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Limerick Lane

Limerick Lane

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Limerick Lane, Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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The Del Fava family planted the oldest currently producing vineyard at Limerick Lane in 1910, a field blend consisting mostly of Zinfandel as well as small percentages of Peloursin, Negrette, and Syrah. Without the benefit of modern scientific methods now used to determine the best soils and sites, the Del Favas were the first to recognize the rare potential of the soil and climate along this one-mile lane just south of the town of Healdsburg.

In 1977, the Del Favas sold their thirty-acre property to brothers Michael and Tom Collins. Like the Del Favas, the Collins brothers saw the potential inherent at Limerick Lane, and set about improving and replanting the vineyards, including a twenty-five acre field blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, and Grenache--the iconic Collins Vineyard. The brothers brought tremendous passion and enthusiasm to the property, selling some of the grapes as vineyard designates to preeminent local wineries including De Loach, Chateau Souverain, Ravenswood, Davis Bynum and Gary Farrell. In 1985, Limerick Lane Cellars was created to market wines produced exclusively from grapes grown on the estate for the first time under the Limerick Lanes label.

By 2009, Mike Collins was ready to sell, but was unwilling to see the beautiful old vines and all his hard work absorbed into a corporation or fall into the hands of investors just out to make a quick buck. Instead, he approached his neighbor Jake Bilbro and asked if Jake would like to buy Limerick Lane Cellars and the Collins Vineyard. Jake had grown up in the wine business, a member of a family renowned for principled vineyard stewardship and sustainable winemaking. Jake and his young family had moved in across the street from Limerick Lane Cellars in 2007, drawn to the place from which his father, among others, had sourced exceptional fruit. For two years Jake pitched nearly every bank in California before a local bank in Healdsburg finally agreed to give him the loan. Jake’s brother Scot signed on as winemaker.

“The original homestead where Mario Del Fava was born is where my wife, three kids, and I live today,” Jake says. “Literally the day after escrow closed, with our third child on the way, we picked our first grapes of the 2011 harvest. As only the third owners in its hundred and five year history, we feel privileged to steward the Limerick Lane legacy. Pairing modern farming and winemaking techniques with the incredible fruit that only the historic Collins Vineyard can produce, we create wines that live up to the heritage that preceded us--wines noted not only for their exceptional balance and elegance, but wines with a sense of history and place as well.”

Russian River

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A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, the Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river that flows through it. While there are warm pockets of the AVA, it is mostly a cool-climate growing region thanks to breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean.

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reign supreme in Russian River, with the best examples demonstrating a unique combination of richness and restraint. The cool weather makes Russian River an ideal AVA for sparkling wine production, utilizing the aforementioned varieties. Zinfandel also performs exceptionally well here. Within the Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. The former, farther from the ocean, is relatively warm, with a focus on red and white Bordeaux varieties. The latter is the coolest, foggiest parcel of the Russian River Valley and is responsible for outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, red Rhône blends originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley. Grenache, supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre typically form the base of the blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. With some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in Priorat, Washington, Australia and California.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit and a plush texture. Syrah supplies dark fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy and earthy notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume and earthy flavor as well as structure and a healthy dose of color. New World examples tend to be fruit-forward in style, while those from the Old World will often have more earth, structure and herbal components on top of ripe red and blue fruit.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. These can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes, playing equally well with beef, pork, lamb or game. Braised beef cheeks, grilled steak or sausages, roasted pork and squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the red Rhône blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.

MBWLIM14SYG_2014 Item# 187928