Vineyard and Region Information: Sixty-Two Terraces is made up of two steeply terraced blocks that start just above the winery and follow a spur ridge almost to the top of the main ridge. The north-south rows create the terraces with a western exposure.The lower block is planted to Alban 'Power Block' selection and the upper block is planted to both Alban 'The Knolls' Viognier and 'Baby Block' Syrah selection. The poor, rocky ridge top soils make for very low yielding vines with small clusters of fruit with smaller berries. The resulting wine is typically some of the more intense Syrah that comes out of our vineyard.
Vintage Notes: 2017 marked a departure from the drought vintages of prior years. We received above average rainfall in all of our vineyards. As we don't irrigate our estate vineyard, these rains provided ample groundwater for the entire growing season. The rains ended in time for flowering to proceed without impact and most vineyards set substantial crops. Bud break came a bit later than prior years, but the vines soon caught up with hot and sunny weather only occasionally interrupted by foggy mornings. We never had enough heat to stress the vineyards and were able to harvest at ideal ripeness.
Wine Notes: There is no doubt that the winemaking team was excited to try this vintage of Sixty-Two Terraces Syrah. These terraces were the last red grapes to be picked in this vintage. We had enough fruit for two fermentations, neither of which was destemmed for 100% whole cluster fermentations. We also co-fermented Viognier in one of them resulting in 3% in the final blend. On the nose, this wine has prominent savory and spicy notes mingled with cigar box and an underlying wild berry fruit that needs some air to open up. The fruit that was shy on the nose is exuberant on the palate with wild berries, dark fruit and extract that finishes very long. This is a blockbuster vintage that portends our new generation of whole cluster Syrah, and the incredible potential of this steep terraced block planted to two low yielding Alban field selections. Approachable now with a decant, give this wine a few years in the cellar and you will be further rewarded.