A row of barrels in the Relic cave.

2007 Alder Springs Vineyard Syrah

This vineyard has been a staple of ours from the beginning, and it usually needs no introduction, but something in these steep hillsides in 2007 has resulted in one of the most aromatic and exotic Syrahs we’ve ever made. This may also have something to with the fact that we were finally able to snag some Viognier and co-ferment the skins with the Syrah. The inviting deep purple color and exotic perfume lead to a rich, dense, but relatively low-alcohol (14.5%) palate, which will leave you begging for another sip. The mouthfeel is lush and full, and the flavors leave a lasting impression of spice, flowers and ripe black fruits. We say crack one open now, get hypnotized by the aroma and watch the bottle empty itself! Aged for 11 months in 60% new French Oak.

Good bright ruby-red. Knockout nose combines raspberry, woodsmoke, crushed rocks and white pepper, plus a soupçon of white fruits (no doubt from the 5% Viognier component). Dense, spicy and light on its feet, with lovely perfumed flavors of raspberry and white pepper. Finishes with big, broad, dusty tannins and lovely lingering aromatic persistence. Not a fat style but very syrah. Like the Ritual, this is downright Old World in style.
Stephen Tanzer
International Wine Cellar
May/June 2009