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Voss Vineyards Ocala Syrah 2001

Syrah/Shiraz from Napa Valley, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    The 2001 vintage began early with budbreak occurring in the third week of March. A warm but mild June and July gave perfect even ripening conditions. Daytime temperatures in the mid 80s caused rapid sugar and flavor accumulation, while nights in the high 40s helped retain the grape acids. September and October were relatively cool months giving plenty of "hang time" for development of mature tannins and varietal character. A combination of Mother Nature and austere farming practices gave a low harvest yield of 3 tons per acre, greatly contributing to the wine's concentration. The fruit for our Ocala Syrah is selected primarily from a gravelly patch on the eastern edge of our vineyard. The Syrah was harvested on October 5 and 11 at an average of 26 Brix. Our 2001 Ocala Syrah, the second vintage of this special wine, shows the concentration of fruit and structure that we look for in a "reserve" wine. The wine displays a blackish red color with lifted aromas of kirsch, blackberry, plums and white pepper. On the palate the flavors of wild cherries, pepper, and clove are supported by supple tannins for a mouth filling and lingering wine. While this wine is ready for immediate enjoyment, it will gain complexity over the next 8 to 10 years with proper cellaring.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Voss Vineyards

    Voss Vineyards

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    Voss Vineyards, Napa Valley, California
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    In 1994, Voss Vineyards was conceived and founded by Australian vigneron, Robert Hill-Smith, proprietor of Nautilus Estate in Marlborough, New Zealand, and Australia’s oldest family owned winery, Yalumba, in the Barossa Valley. Robert was intrigued by the Napa Valley and saw quality and opportunity in the viticulture around Rutherford and Oakville, wondering whether he could apply some of the knowledge garnered over the 150 years of family involvement in winemaking. Voss owns 42 vineyard acres in Rutherford and produces Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, and Syrah.

    Napa Valley

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    One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960's, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

    The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

    Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those is the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

    Syrah/Shiraz

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    Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture, Syrah is capable of producing fascinatingly complex and long-lived wines with a stunning purple hue. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah’s best examples are found in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. It is also an important component of the GSM blends of the Southern Rhône and beyond, alongside Grenache and Mourvèdre. Both varietal Syrah and GSM blends are common in Australia and California and are gaining popularity in Washington State. In Australia, Syrah is known by the synonym Shiraz, which tends to indicate a bolder, fruit-driven style of wine, and is occasionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for added depth and structure.

    In the Glass

    At its best, Syrah shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper, smoke, and even bacon fat. Many examples from California aim to recreate this savory style, while others focus more on concentrated fruit flavors. In Australia, under the name Shiraz, it shines as that country’s unofficial signature red grape, producing deep, dark, intense, and often jammy reds.

    Perfect Pairings

    Cool-climate Syrah, with its peppery spices, is a natural match with flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb dishes, where the spice is more about flavor than heat. With Australian Shiraz, grown in warmer regions, heavy meat dishes with abundant protein and fat are a necessity to match the intensity of the wine.

    Sommelier Secret

    Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” this synonym for Syrah has been adopted by winemakers throughout the world. If the label says “Shiraz,” you can typically expect a plush, fruity, and potent wine made in the Australian style. New World "Syrah" will generally more closely resemble the French style.

    HNYVOSOSH01C_2001 Item# 83664