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Longboard Vineyards Russian River Syrah 2016
I began to make a cool region Syrah way back in 1998, driven by a love for Northern Rhone wines. As a wine "newbie", traveling to surf destinations on the Atlantic shores of Europe, I found that these were the wines that could deliver quality on a very consistent level while I was on a surf-bum budget. Later, as a pro with more than 34 harvests under my belt, I still like a good Syrah - regardless of price... I now understand even better why this variety fits my palate then - and continues to do so now. It all has to do with balance and layering; Syrah is less tannic than Cabernet and a bit more layered than Pinot Noir. These traits, and the slight earthy spiciness we get in this region make Syrah a natural companion to a wide range of foods - and thus wins the vote in my heart (and palate). This Syrah is a blend of Dakine, Goosechase, and Ledbetter (old Preston Ranch) vineyard blocks. At release, the 2016 shows a lot of blue-fruit nuances and some dry herb notes, all directly arising from a very even growing season. A bit of floral character and some bacon fat add complexity and marry well with the wild-fennel note I always get from Russian River Valley Syrah.
Oded Shakked - Owner & Winemaker of Longboard Vineyards
Wine Dogma: This blend comes from sites of different soil composition, and quite different individual terroirs. Accordingly, I treat the lots individually, opting for open-top fermentation for the Dakine and traditional closed-top for the Ledbetter and Goosechase lots. I use a blend of Burgundy and Bordeaux barrels to age the wines on the fine lees for about 9 months, then rack them off the lees and age them an additional year in the same barrels. Wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Composition: Syrah 99 %, (Grenache, Carignan, Malbec, Petit Sirah) 1%
Appellation: 100% Russian River Valley
Production: 258 Cases
Alcohol: 14.5 %