2020 SYRAH ESTATE GROWN
The Curtis Estate is approximately 100 acres of uplifted, gently sloping vines, in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley with gravelly loam soils over a deep bed of ancient maritime sand. Here the vines are 15 to 47 years old. Though we have several Syrah blocks, our Estate Syrah is from the U-1 Block that is divided into 2 sub-blocks, A (Clone 471) and B (Clone 383). Clone 383 (a French Clone) gives ample fruit, solid structure, and a lovely cool-climate Syrah flavor profile. This clone's small, round, marble-shaped berry has a tight skin, which results in more structured wines. The qualities of Clone 471 are similar, but with a bit more fruit-forward note. The U-1 block was grafted a few years ago onto Viognier vines. It has quickly become our favorite block of Syrah and results in a very delicious and complex wine. We harvest each block multiple times to ensure optimum ripeness and smaller fermentations in open top tanks. As each block is received at the winery, we assess quality, taste, and stem ripeness to help determine whether or not to include stems and if so, at what percentage. As such, some wines are fermented without any stems, while others are fermented with 100% whole bunches. Each fermentation lot is kept separate throughout the entire 18 months élevage after being barreled down in a mix of new and 1–4-year-old French oak barrels. The Estate Syrah is always crafted from the best of these barrels each vintage. The 2020 vintage is nearly opaque in the glass with a blue/black core and bright red-black at the rim. The primary fruits are cherry and raspberry, balanced by a dusting of white pepper with a lovely and fully integrated toasty oak finish from the nearly 25% new French oak. The mid-palate is energetic and massive, while the finish is rich and long. This is a stunning vintage of our Estate Syrah that will benefit from another 5-10 years of bottle aging.