Vineyard and Region Information: We have been making this special cuvee since 2008, inspired by other Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah blends from around the world. These two varietals have the potential to blend beautifully, and that was what compelled us to produce this wine. It has always been one of our customer favorites. This vintage is special to us as it is 100% Santa Cruz Mountains AVA fruit, with the Cab coming from the amazing Betchart Vineyard on Montebello Road next to Ridge, and the Syrah from our Estate vineyard.
Wine Notes: Perfumed mountain cabernet dominates the nose, with brooding hints of Syrah underlying it. The way these two varietals intertwine is compelling and draws one in. Odeon always pushes our senses when creating the blend. We try to stay open to all possibilities and try varying percentages, and various vineyards from year to year, depending on what we have available to work with. The name itself was chosen because it represents art, poetry and music performed live (The Odeon is the amphitheater at the Acropolis in Greece). And of all of the blends we do, this is the one where we seek through blending the greatest lyrical expression.
We have evolved our winemaking substantially from 2008, and this vintage definitely reflects that evolution. The blend is dominated by the Betchart Cabernet (70%) and includes all three barrels we made of it, with one of them being new French oak using our special toast which is incredibly transparent and hard to notice in the wine. Only one barrel of estate Syrah was included. The final blend is overall 40% whole cluster, and as is our practice, all indigenous fermentation. An evolutionary step that we were very excited to take in 2018 was moving to a basket press for all of our reds. No doubt, this is another wine that proves the point, there is a reason that many of the greatest wine makers in Burgundy and the Rhone swear by the basket press. And now we get it. The aromatics seem to take flight, while the fruit comes through with a beautiful clarity. I liken it to polishing the lense of a camera or cleaning a window - there is a certain purity expressed that cannot be easily obtained with a bladder press. OK, so way too technical, but the bottom line is that a basket press is incredibly gentle - it gradually increases pressure on the must over time, and when we taste and decide we have extracted the best of what we can, we cut it off. With a bladder press, the bladder inflates over and over, with multiple “pomace break up” revolutions between each pressing which frankly beat up fragile fermented red grapes. Yes, amazing red wines can be made with a bladder press, as we have over the years, but when striving to make the best wine possible, the basket press is and was a critical step forward for us.