Syrah is one of my favorite varietals. It is produced all over the wine making world and is a varietal that greatly shows characters that are directly influenced by where it is grown. In my opinion, that is the key to great wine; it represents its vineyard and growing region in the glass! For years we produced Syrah under our Smith Wooton brand. We sourced the fruit from what I believe is one of the best warm climate locales for Syrah. The vineyard is located outside of Murphys, CA on a steep and rugged hillside. The Tanner vineyard is magical for the style of Syrah we love to make. There are two important factors to this vineyard: one is the tough, rocky soil where the vines are planted and the second is the care in which the Tanner family farms it.
The vineyard is littered with stones that were uncovered when planting the vines. I have even been told that some of the vines had to be planted using crowbars in order to get the roots in the ground in between the stones. This abundance of rock material holds heat at night that radiates into the vineyard. The combination of site, location, and climate produce Syrah grapes that possess rich varietal character, yet an affinity for elegance.
Secondly, the Tanner Family puts as much love in the vineyard as we do in our winery. The entire family is involved in the farming process and it shows in the quality of the grapes. This is one of the main reasons we choose to work with the vineyards we do. I look for owners who are active in the field. I truly believe that the energy and passion of the family ends up in the finished product.
After years of customers asking why we stopped making our Syrah, I decided to bring it back into the Smith Wooton line-up. The 2013 Syrah is the first release sense 2006. This wine is another classic Smith Wooton, handcrafted gem. Rich, yet balanced with true varietal character, perfect for game and lamb. This wine is unfined and unfiltered and showcases both richness and complexity, while holding on to just the right amount of acidity.