2019 Lucia Vineyards by Pisoni, Syrah, Soberanes Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands.
The 2019 Lucia Soberanes Syrah displays a classic deep intense color, blackish purple with dark garnet edges and reveals a heady perfume of crushed violets and lilacs, as well as smoky embers, black fruits and delicate spices before its full bodied palate flows with opulent boysenberry, creme de cassis/currant and sweet plum fruit. This vintage is ripe and well balanced with a lively cut of natural acidity and it adds mocha, black licorice, smoky sandalwood, a subtle meaty element and hint of peppery spice. The 2019 has silky tannins that are well integrated, but will serve this wine well for another decade in the bottle, it is Impressively dense and with a supple mouth feel this year’s Lucia Soberanes Syrah has plenty to admire and it thrills the senses. Winemaker Jeff Pisoni, again proves he is one of the best with his latest set of 2019 Lucia and Pisoni Estate wines, as this one shows, and while we all know that the 2020 vintage fire destroyed all of the red grapes, these 2019s offer exceptional quality and it is best to get as many as you can. This wine is pure class, and it certainly re-enforces my personal belief that Syrah here can be the equal to Pinot Noir in quality, if not better, as it loves the sandy decomposed granite soils. The Soberanes Vineyard is the part of the joint venture between the Pisoni and Franscioni families that has brought international fame to this region, with the Garys’ being instrumental into establishing the Santa Lucia Highlands. The Soberanes, with 33 or so acres of vines, has Chardonnay and Pinot Noir planted there, which produce some awesome wines under the Roar and Lucia labels, but the Syrah should not be overlooked!

The Soberness Vineyard is a fantastic site and is the Pisoni family’s youngest vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands, set over the next ridge from the famed Garys’ Vineyard, but higher up, its on a sandy loamy hillside with an almost constant cool breeze, delivering a long hang time and incredible fruit concentration. Soberanes just might be the most exciting plot in the Santa Lucia Highlands right now and as I’ve said in the past, this Lucia Syrah shows why, it’s planted with an excellent set of clones, like the Alban clone (Cote-Rotie) for this Syrah, and makes for one of the best wines in the region. Not only is this Pisoni made wine stand out, also check out Cattleya, made by Jeff’s wife Bibiana Gonzalez Rave-Pisoni and the Sandlands Syrah by Turley’s winemaker Tegan Passalacqua for comparison, these are some of the best Syrahs in California, both also from the Soberanes Vineyard. The Pisoni’s say that 2019, like the 2018, cultivated another excellent year for grape growers and winemakers alike and this wine is the result of this exceptional vintage. The surprise here is the satiny, elegant and seamless style of this wine, that is was done with 100% whole bunches, such is the grace found here in such a youthful Syrah. Jeff Pisoni employed very gentle techniques, using carefully hand-picked and sorted grapes that were fermented with native yeast and aged in carefully selected French oak barrels, with about 30% new wood. Pisoni has a state-of-the-art winemaking facility in the Santa Rosa area and it exclusively uses gravity flow to move the wines, ensuring quality, with total control of the farming and winemaking process from start to finish. This wine, one of my absolute favorites, has lots more to offer and will evolve nicely for the next three to five years, best to enjoy it with robust cuisine and friends.
($60 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive

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