2013 Windy Oaks Estate, Syrah, Vaccaro Family Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mountains.*
It’s exciting times at Windy Oaks Estate with a wonderful set of releases from Jim Schulzte’s cellar and a few new surprises in the vines, with a Syrah vineyard right next store coming online and new blocks of Grand Cru Burgundy clones, including a small parcel of hillside Chambertin clone and an expansion of planting/cuttings of their SBC (Special Burgundy Clone) which is a cleaned up version of de la Romanee-Conti! With Alfaro Family Vineyards and Windy Oaks Estate, Corralitos is a must visit sub region of the Santa Cruz Mountains and it’s killing it with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, it’s a great weekend drive, which I did enjoying gorgeous sunshine and scenic vistas, and great wine, and a vineyard spin with Jim Schultze, who started with the 1999 vintage and who has become a leading light in handcrafted small lot Pinots in the area, I’ve always been a fan. Even though I didn’t get to taste the Grand Cru Burgundy clone wines, the releases sold out, but I was thrilled with the new Syrah release from those vines at the neighbor’s southwest facing hillside, it is a steep slope at a 1,000 feet above sea level with a view of the Pacific Ocean and Monterey Bay. It is everything you’d expect from a Burgundy inspired winemaker and a cool coastal climate site with seductive delicacy, it’s a medium bodied Syrah with lovely finesse and length with an array of black, blue and red fruits as well as lightly spiced and with a pretty perfume that makes it like a subtle Cote-Rotie. The profile of this Windy Oaks Syrah is opulent, but refined with heady florals and restrained used French oak shadings, it was very gently fermented with open top tanks and raised for almost 24 months in once and twice used Burgundy barriques, then aged in bottle for a year before it’s recent release. The 2013 Syrah has violets, rose petal and lavender oil on the nose with boysenberry, strawberry, plum and blueberry fruits along with fine silky tannins, mild acidity as well as having savory tones, mineral, dusty spices, kirsch, cedar, vanilla and tangy/minty herb and fennel. This is not an overly rich or dense wine, it comes in under 14% and feels satiny almost Pinot like, it’s all about charm and grace, not power, drink now and for the next 3 or 4 years, it’s a beauty and a shows an intriguing softer side expression of Syrah.
($45 Est.) grapelive
*I just accepted a position with Windy Oaks Estate*