Pax Castelli-Knight Ranch Syrah 2006
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Pax Wine Cellars is focusing on the production of premium vineyard-designated Syrah based wines from the North Coast of California. We hope to eventually add a Grenache based wine, and a Northern Rhone inspired white wine. Quality is key and sourcing exceptional sources for these two wines is paramount. Our Mission Statement is simply stated; “To produce reference point Syrah based wines that are indicative of where they are grown”. We are not trying to replicate any other Syrah produced in the world; Hermitage can only be made from one place. Our intent is to create unique wines with strong personalities of where they are grown. We believe that the cooler climates along the northern coast of California have the potential to produce world-class Syrah, and that is our goal. We utilize traditional winemaking techniques; it is a style of winemaking that is really without a style. The uniqueness of the growing sites for each of these vineyards should give the wine its personality; it is our job to encourage that personality to shine through. We feel the best way to accomplish this is by utilizing Indigenous fermentations, minimal handling, unobtrusive use of the finest French oak and bottling without filtering or fining. This approach to winemaking is very pure and unadulterated; therefore the wines will typically vary in color, alcohol, pH and most other characteristics that determine any given winery's ‘style’. Each of our wines is the purest expression of that vineyards fruit that we are able to capture in the bottle. This is the reason that sourcing vineyards of exception or at least vineyards that have ‘something to say’ is the single most important thing that we can do to guarantee our success. We spend, as much time in our vineyards as we can. It is simply the only way. We lease our parcels by the acre or row when necessary, and we encourage organic farming practices. Low yields are a rule and each vine is cared for individually.
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.
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 Rhône Blends of the south, 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.”