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Westerly Cote Blonde 2011
Blend: 95% Syrah, 5% Viognier
Owner & visionary, Roger Bower, is on the cutting edge of an emerging movement in Santa Barbara County. He works closely with all aspects of farming and winemaking, ranch management, as well as sales and marketing. Roger lives on his property, Crown Point, which is located in the heart of the Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara AVA. At dawn and at dusk, he can frequently be seen riding his horses amongst the estate vineyards, fruit orchards, and olive groves.
Adam Henkel, a Kentucky native, came to California by way of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where he ran a boutique wine shop that enabled him to taste wines with vintners and growers from all over the world. After numerous trips to France, Australia, Oregon, and California, Adam decided to move to the Napa Valley to learn how to make wine in 2004. Following stints at Merryvale Vineyards in St. Helena and Swanson Vineyards in Rutherford, he settled in at Harlan Estate in Oakville where he was inspired by the “culture of perfection” and the relentless approach to wine quality.
Adam comes to Westerly after eight vintages as an integral part of the winemaking team at Harlan Estate. As the Direct Assistant to the Winemaker and Cellar Master for Harlan Estate, Bond Estates, and Promontory, he became known for producing profound, character-driven wines in an environment where expectations were always at the highest level.
The viticultural diversity, geographical grandeur, and the opportunity to continue making world-class wines is why Adam decided to leave the Napa Valley for Santa Barbara County in early 2013. Adam lives in Santa Ynez with his wife Kellie and four children.
The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley.
Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.
While the region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.
Marked by 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.
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.
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.