Five Rows Craft Wine - 2018 Syrah
I've recently toyed with the notion of becoming a Cool-Climate Syrah Crusader based on the miracles I've witnessed. At some point in every vintage, I find myself doubtful that these vines will even produce a crop, never mind a decent wine, and they consistently prove me wrong. 2018 was the year that I witnessed Syrah turn (rain)water into great wine.
Just when you think everything couldn't look better...
Is how I felt when mother nature pulled the rug out from under us in October of 2018. The rains came fast and furious and so did the baffling disease pressure in the loose clusters of Syrah. The berries started to shrivel and rapidly lose skin integrity right before our eyes. Thankfully, the fruit was ripe enough (23 degrees brix) by October 10th for us to quickly get in and harvest the cleanest clusters we could find.
The initial prognosis was iffy at best, but as interesting flavours and aromas started to develop during fermentation, I couldn't help but have my spirits lifted. The resultant wine spent two years evolving in French Oak (20% new), and emerged as a striking "terroir beauty" to behold.
Aromas: ripe dark fruit dominates, cherry, blackberry, spice, cured meat
Palate: Bing cherry, sweet peppercorn, dark chocolate, coffee bean, savoury, smooth; drinking very well now, but could develop even more complexity over time.