Vineyard and Region Information: It's incredible how different another Syrah from our Estate Vineyard can be. Old Corral is the eternal reminder that maintaining transparency to site is our end-game. Ultimately, transparency is about revealing all of the nuance and detail a given site has to offer, and if that site is extraordinary, an extraordinary wine is the result. Each of the 'Alban Powerblock' selection vines in Old Corral are planted only three feet apart. The dramatic, steeply terraced rows these vines are planted to are similar to extreme vineyards in the world's top Syrah regions in the Northern Rhone Valley. These hand farmed vineyards force you to invest a lot for little (grapes) in return. But what you do at harvest proves that it is worth what it takes.
Vintage Notes: 2014 was an excellent follow on to the excellent 2013 vintage. Yields were excellent and weather during harvest was good. We started harvesting from the ridge top Old Corral block on September 13 and picked the remaining blocks on September 20th. The grapes produced excellent color and flavors at reasonable sugar levels in this vintage (producing a wine under 14%). It is important to note that this will be our last vintage of the Old Corral Syrah since the Old Corral block was budded to Pinot Noir in 2015. The good news is that the block that did not get budded over is now being combined with the remaining terraces on top of the ridge that were planted to Alban "Baby Block" selection and going into a wine that we call 62 Terraces Syrah.
On the nose, this wine has a beautiful combination of Syrah fruit and spice. While a vintage like 2011 was loaded with spice notes, yet not very fruity, or the 2012 loaded with fruit, but not very spicy, this vintage has them both along with a roasted game character. We used less new oak (28%) than we have in the past which really allows these fruit and spice notes to take center stage. We decided to hold this wine back a little bit longer to let it continue to come together. Approachable now, we would expect this wine to continue evolving in a positive way for many years. This is another wine to consider strongly for a Thanksgiving feast, or anytime one is preparing lamb. Approachable now, we would expect this wine to continue evolving in a positive way for many years.
Wine Reviews: The 2014 Syrah Old Corral is a gorgeous wine. Next to the Rattlesnake, also an estate Syrah, the Old Corral is a bit more aromatic and delicate, in relative terms. The combination of beautifully layered fruit and expressive, savory hints of tobacco, woodsmoke and licorice is hugely appealing. This is the last vintage of the Old Corral Syrah. Following the 2014 harvest the vineyard was grafted with Pinot Noir. 93 Points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous.