Red Car Estate Vineyard Syrah 2011
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Red Car was founded in 2000 when Mark Estrin, Carroll Kemp and Richard Crowell produced 50 cases of wine from a single ton of Syrah grapes in a Culver City garage. In a nod to their Los Angeles roots, the new venture was named Red Car after the trolley line that ferried riders across the region for the first half of the twentieth century.
In 2004, they purchased 125 acres of land and began developing vineyards in the wild coastal ridges north of Sonoma County’s Bodega Bay, a region now known as the Fort Ross-Seaview AVA. Here, the interplay of warm sunshine, cool Pacific breezes and sandstone soils could yield the age-worthy wines of structure and complexity that had captured their imagination.
Today, under the direction of viticulturist, Greg Adams, and winemaker, Tanner Scheer, Red Car farms five dramatic vineyards including Heaven & Earth, Zephyr Farms, Mohrhardt Ridge, Hagan, and The Estate. This rugged terrain's coastal influence—where the Pacific fog filters in daily through giant redwoods until warm sunshine sends it back out to the sea—provides perfect growing conditions for their hallmark style: perfumed aromatics, bright fruit, crisp texture and uplifting acidity. Red Car is passionately committed to producing wines of purity and focus that express the authentic varietal character and terroir of each unique coastal vineyard site. At the core, Red Car is a small, independent farming operation committed to conservation and sustainability.
Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa Valley, the region only produces about half the amount of wine but boasts both tremendous quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.
Sonoma County wines are produced with carefully selected grape varieties to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Carneros. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.
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.”