2015 Cattleya, Syrah, Soberanes Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands.
Maybe the best wine of the 2022 Santa Lucia Highlands Wine, Sun &Wine tasting, this outrageously good Cattleya Soberanes Syrah from the 2015 vintage is absolutely stunning in the glass with the power and presence of a legendary Hermitage, this is as great as it gets for Syrah! Winemaker Bibiana Gonzalez Rave-Pisoni has crafted a masterpiece here and it is just starting to reveal its true potential with a gorgeous violet perfume, meaty density, beautiful blue fruits, peppery spices, licorice and intense earthy black olive details coming through on the pure and full bodied palate. This wine has a serious personality and impact on the senses with layers of boysenberry, plum, blueberry and kirsch fruits along with hints of cinnamon, briar, camphor, creme de cassis and a faint bacon note in the background. Still remarkably vibrant, fresh and taut this Syrah takes its time to get going, but when it does it makes an impression and looks to drink fabulously well for another decade! The Soberanes Vineyard, located closer to Garys’ Vineyard, but at a slightly higher point in the Santa Lucia Highlands, is the Pisoni’s youngest vineyard, but it maybe the one with the greatest potential, with its upper hillsides and its granite loams soil making it a perfect spot for high quality Syrah, though of course there’s some very nice Chardonnay and Pinot grown here as well. While this 2015 was a bonus pouring, Cattleya also showed off their 2019 version that has the stuffing and depth to be an equal to this one in a few years.

As mentioned here many times, Bibiana Gonzalez Rave-Pisoni, the Colombian winemaker and vineyard consultant, is making some stunning wines, especially this wine, which is a masterpiece. Gonzalez Rave-Pisoni’s stints in at some of the world’s great estates, including Stephane Ogier in Cote-Rotie, has helped her develop her love of place and to get the best out of each terroir, it also showed in her work when at Pahlmeyer with her Wayfarer Pinot Noirs from the Seaview/Sonoma Coast. Her talents are really on display here in the wines she does under her own label Cattleya, in particular in her gorgeous Alban clone Syrah from her husband’s (Jeff Pisoni) family farmed vines at Soberanes. I firmly believe, and have mentioned time after time, since 2004 the Pisoni’s and Franscioni’s have farmed some of the best Syrah in the state, anyones who’s tasted Pisoni’s Lucia, Tegan Passalaqcua’s Sandlands Soberanes Syrah, Roar, the original Novy versions by Adam Lee (Siduri) and this Cattleya will confirm this! The Cattleya Syrah, hand crafted with a long maceration time, saw a precision controlled primary fermentation with 20% whole clusters being used and the grapes got an extended cold soak to allow all the nuances to shine though in the finished wine. The Cattleya Syrah was aged about 16 months in luxurious and toasty French oak, which even with the high percentage of new barrels, upward of 50%, has integrated exceptional well and with age has become more subtle with just a hint of sweet toast and vanilla. I highly recommend these Cattleya wines, in particular this Soberanes Syrah and if you can find this 2015 you’ll be well rewarded, though the patient Syrah lovers will be advised to get the new 2019 release while you can!
($70 Est.) 97 Points, grapelive

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