Claire Hill Casa Vineyard Syrah
Origin: Santa Cruz Mountains, California, USA
From the winemaker, who paints her own labels: "I make this wine in much the same way I made Syrah at Rhys and with Éric Texier, but pulled back on the whole cluster to half to capture more of the delicate high-toned aromatics. The whole clusters go on top of the destemmed grapes and are then spritzed with grape spirit (“gnolle” in France) to prevent kloeckera growth (and volatile acidity) in the lead up to fermentation. The other half of the fruit is destemmed and goes below the whole clusters to have more thermal insulation as it kicks off fermentation. After 2 weeks of maceration, the dry wine is sent to used French oak barrel where it rests on fine lees for 11 months before bottling This wine was bottled in August 2022 but will benefit from several more years of aging or a healthy decanting before serving. It has the acid and tannin structure one would expect of a wine from the Santa Cruz Mountains, with the ageability that comes with it. I highly recommend aging this wine, or at the very least giving it a healthy decant. Once the nose opens, it gives that signature Santa Cruz Mountains cocoa nib smell layered over a classic bacon fat and olive structure."