JD95 The 2018 Syrah Alturas offers a more vivid, Côte-Rôtie-like style and has beautiful notes of black raspberries, spring flowers, peppered meat, and violets. More sappy underbrush and even a kiss of bacon fat emerge with time in the glass. It’s medium-bodied, has a silky, elegant texture, wonderful mid-palate depth, and enough tannins to warrant a year or three of bottle age. Beautifully done, this complex, elegant Syrah is going to evolve for 10-15 years or more.
Estate Notes: The Halcón Syrah fruit, just like our southern Rhône varieties, experienced an extremely long hang-time. Harvest on October 20th was 38 days after full veraison (when the fruit turns completely purple). For comparison, the previous four vintages had full veraison-to-harvest times of 18-22 days. The cool nights preserved acids and slowed sugar development, such that the finished alcohol is a slightly below average 13.4%.
We again utilized 50% whole-cluster and co-fermented with 4% estate Viognier. For the first time we utilized no new oak on this cuvée, aging the wine in used French puncheons. There is a lot of bright red and blue fruits but also plenty of savory characteristics and that classic white pepper. A hypothetical blending of 2014 and 2016 vintages with a strong cool-climate character. I am most struck by the vibrancy and energy on the palate. A pure reflection of the Halcón terroir and will rival the 2016 as best Alturas to date. Unfined, unfiltered. 325 cases.