The stunning, black/purple-colored 1997 Syrah offers extraordinary purity of creme de cassis and peppery-like aromas, and powerful, concentrated, full-bodied flavors, with the fruit and glycerin dominating all other components. There is enough acidity to buttress this large wine's considerable power and intensity. Vague notions of licorice, tar, and spice emerge with coaxing. However, this is a giant fruit bomb that should continue to gain complexity, and become more delineated with bottle age. It should drink well for 12-15 years.
The property is located five miles northwest of St. Helena at the top of Spring Mountain. In the last half of the 19th century it was a vineyard, but was allowed to return to forest around the turn of the century. We still find old redwood grape stakes and even a few old zinfandel vines that survive under the large Douglas fir trees that surround our home. One vine near the house produces one or two clusters of grapes a year that are put into our Merlot blend for good luck. The purchase of this raw land was the beginning of an odyssey that is ongoing, ever changing, but with one goal—to grow the best grapes possible and make a wine that reflects the terroir of our vineyard.