Syrah fruit from the Big River Ranch underwent a picture-perfect 10-day fermentation. After fermentation, the wine was sampled once daily to determine the level of extraction and, thus, the exact press date. Pump overs were performed twice daily during the period of skin contact.
The 2005 Big River Ranch syrah gracefully illustrates that syrah can provide signature smoke and earth components as well as deep fruit character. This luscious wine, with a bouquet of dark fruit and hints of nutmeg, fills the mouth with ripe cherries and toasty caramel. The finish is complex and satisfying, with soft tannins and a smooth, beautiful conclusion. Expect this wine to cellar well for the next 8-9 years.
Syrah vines at the Big River Ranch are located just down the slope from the old zin vines on this vineyard, which sits at the very southern boundary of the Alexander Valley appellation. The block of 12-year-old Big River syrah is made up of clones 877 and 174 on 110-R rootstock in rocky soil. This property, a proven location for top zinfandel, has established itself as a site for extremely high quality syrah.
Notes on the 2005 vintage:
The 2005 harvest began with an early bud break in February and continued with limited rain in the early spring and no heat spikes. A cooler overall growing climate allowed the grapes to hang until their optimal ripeness. This resulted in more intense flavors as well as a leisurely, well-measured crush that extended fully into November.
Strictly limited production. 370 cases produced.