Vineyard and Region Information: Justin Lacau was a Frenchman who tended vines from the end of prohibition through the late 1960's on the same site Big Basin Vineyards calls home today. Justin purchased this plot, which had been originally planted by a few other Frenchmen at the turn of the 20th century. These first winemakers then sold the land and abandoned the vineyards as soon as prohibition was passed. The local mountain folk simply referred to Justin as 'Frenchie', a name he clearly embraced on the sign welcoming you to his property. This sign is the label which adorns the bottle of our Estate Reserve Syrah - a tribute to the long standing history of grape growing and winemaking in the heart of the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Vintage Notes: 2013 remains one of our favorite vintages of the past decade. Our south-west facing, extraordinary steep slopes soaked in the warm, dry days and produced small berries of a concentrated dry-farmed Syrah. It's under these stressful conditions that the ancient Syrah grape struggles and excels.
Wine Notes: We selected four hogshead barrels for the 2013 Frenchies. The first barrel came from the first pick of our Rattlesnake Rock block which we co-fermented with 8% Viognier. The other three barrels came from our Old Corral, 42 Terraces and Boulder Blocks. The final blend is 98% Syrah, 2% Viognier. Pour this wine into your glass and the concentrated baked plum, roasted meat, and lavender notes jump from the glass and express the intensity of the vintage. On the palate, the wine is seamless and concentrated with a finish that lasts well over a minute. The wine spent 39 months in 100% new French oak Hogs head barrels from our favorite coopers. This is the most full throttle expression of our Estate Syrah and a wine to enjoy with special company.
Wine Reviews: ”Incorporating a splash of Viognier, the 2013 Syrah Frenchies Ranch offers an exotic bouquet of blackberries, blueberries, mint, peach pit and sappy herbs. Rich, concentrated and structured, with lots of fruit, it has a great texture and a good finish. It needs short term cellaring to gain some integration and elegance, but is solid stuff."- Jeb Dunnuck, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"The 2013 Syrah Frenchies Ranch is rich, unctuous and textured, much of that the result of having spent 39 months in 100% new French oak. The extended time in barrel softens the contours but also gives the wine a slightly forward character in its aromatics. This is another impeccably crafted wine from Big Basin. Still, there is terrific textural depth and plushness to the fruit. The 2013 has turned out beautifully" - Antonio Galloni, Vinous