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Piedrasassi Bien Nacido Vineyard Syrah 2016

    750ML / 0% ABV
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    750ML / 0% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    This wine on release is delicious, a little rustic and feral—some of the wonderful things about Syrah! It offers a savory finish, explosive fruit and a bit of meatiness on the nose.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Piedrasassi

    Piedrasassi

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    Piedrasassi, California
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    “The common thread among all the wines we love and admire is that there are both a mind and a place behind them. Wine, just like food, or music, or art, should have a certain kind of authenticity–it should come from someone and somewhere. This idea is what informs the work that we do. We try to make honest wines that we believe in. We hope you like them.” –Sashi Moorman, Piedrasassi Sashi and his wife, Melissa, have been making great, restrained, Northern Rhone-style Syrah for a decade, until now selling it only in California, and we are thrilled to bring their wines, in their very distinctive squat bottle, to the Tri-State area. The husband and wife team began making a small amount of wine in Lompoc, CA in 2003 under the Piedrasassi label. The focus of Piedrasassi’s wine program is cool climate Syrah. Sashi & Melissa believe that good Syrah can be made at many sites in Santa Barbara County, but it is at the cool climate sites that Syrah is at its most compelling; producing the most complex aromas and the most savory textures. The vineyard sites for Piedrasassi range from Ballard Canyon in the east to the Santa Rita Hills and Arroyo Grande in the west. In the vineyard, the team at Piedrasassi picks a bit earlier than their colleagues to keep the alcohol levels in balance with flavor and to preserve the natural acidity of the fruit. In the winery, Moorman employs some whole cluster inclusion, indigenous yeast fermentation, and no sulfur added at fermentation, remaining as natural as possible without compromising the integrity of the wine. Elevage is in 500L barrels to limit the wine’s exposure to oxygen and to minimize the influence of oak. They add the smallest amount of sulfur to the wine at bottling; allowing the aromatics to stay expressive while still protecting the wine during cellaring. The result, in all of these bottlings, is Syrah that shows off the different sites through aromas that bloom and evolve in the glass and tannins that grip and engage the palate. The tasting room also has a bakery connected, which Melissa runs. They make fresh loaves of bread Wednesday through Sunday, just highlighting how truly they are tied to the Earth and their sense of place.
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    Santa Maria Valley

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    A lesser-known but elite AVA within the larger Santa Barbara district, the Santa Maria Valley AVA runs precisely west to east starting near the coast. The valley funnels cool, Pacific Ocean air to the vineyards more inland, allowing grapes a longer hang time to ripen evenly and achieve their full potential by harvest time. Combined with minimal rainfall, consistent warm sunshine, and well-drained soils, it is an ideal environment for grape growing.

    Many of the wineries here are small and highly respected, having established a reputation in the 1970s and 80s for producing excellent Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. More recently, Syrah has also proven quite successful in the region. Many vineyards are owned by growers who sell their grapes to other wineries, so it is common to see the same vineyard name on bottlings from different wineries. Bien Nacido Vineyard is perhaps the best-known and most prestigious.

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    Syrah/Shiraz

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    Marked by an 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.

    Perfect Pairings

    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.

    Sommelier Secret

    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.

    SRKUSPSS4216_2016 Item# 529817