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Description: In 1994, we cleared a small area of trees that were shading our favorite block of Merlot. We decided to plant a block of Syrah to see how it would do up here and to make wine for our own consumption. In 1996, we started making the wine commercially and now produce 100 to 125 cases per year. Our wine is 100 percent Estate Syrah and is produced by the same methods as our Merlot, except that we do not use new oak in our barrel aging. The wine goes into one of our two-year-old French oak barrels for 15 months of barrel aging. The wine tends to show aromas of berries, black pepper (very strong in cooler vintages), sage, spice, burnt orange with hints of forest floor in some vintages. On the palate flavors of spice, pepper and berries are followed by a long spicy finish.

Varietal Definition
Syrah is the eight hundred pound gorilla of Rhone grapes! In the vineyard and the winery, Syrah is typically an easy grape to work with - healthy, early ripening, resistant to mildew and rot; suitable for winemaking in a variety of styles. The wines from Syrah are tannic without being harsh. The wines will have a taste and smell of dark blue fruit like blackberries and blackcurrant, with a strong spicy side where one can find freshly ground pepper and other spices. Syrah is famous for its part in the French blends, such as Côtes du Rhone and Châteauneuf du Pape.
Merlot is known as a Noble Bordeaux varietal. Although it came to France in the first century, it was not named until the 1880s. Merlot was originally used only for blending, as it is soft and compliant, very useful in softening other Bordeaux wines like Cabernets. Recently in California and Chile it became popular as a 100% varietal wine. Merlot tends to be easier to grow in a variety of soil conditions and is harvested earlier in the year than Cabernet. Although most Merlots are made to be drunk earlier, there are many with complexities of a Cabernet. Flavors of plum, black cherry, violet, chocolate and orange pair well with rich, red pasta dishes, hearty chicken dishes, and any beef combination that you fancy. The perfect match of course is chocolate. Not only does the chocolate compliment the wine and vice-versa, but the essence of both flavors linger eternally.


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