2010 Out of the Shadows Syrah
When Don & I visited the Northern Rhone in the cold winter of 2009 we tasted memorable Syrahs from the masters at la fête de la Côte Rôtie in Ampuis. Escorted by our friend and talented chef-owner of La Folie in San Francisco, Roland Passot, the afternoon became surreal when we were invited to Monsieur Guigal’s private cellar for a degustation we will not soon forget. It lasted hours but felt like just minutes.
Monsieur Guigal became a generous educator that day unveiling decades of wine making details and secrets to us; It was an epiphany and we certainly got a lesson on Syrah from masters of their craft, refining this superb cépage into powerful but elegant wines since Roman times. We took it all in and once back home went on our Soliste quest to seek an outstanding vineyard that would match what we had seen and learned in Ampuis.
Our tenacious nature rewarded us when we came upon a stunning Syrah vineyard in Bennett Valley. Our first release of the 2008 vintage was an instant success, followed by the spectacular 2009 vintage. These superb Syrah reflect our commitment in the aging process, of over 31 months in barriques in the tradition of the Northern Rhone masters.
The 2010 vintage is absolutely spectacular – it certainly benefits from our experience of the 2008 & 2009 vintages and also from a very cool growing season with long hang time to create refined aromatic of exotic depth. This Syrah is a muscular, powerful wine with trademark Soliste elegance, length and balance. It has the finesse of a great Côte Rôtie or Hermitage but the animal power of a Cornas. It also has the ability to age for decades.
Vintage Notes at a Glance
2010 was a damp and cool growing season. We harvested at first light and field sorted. This vintage was gently destemmed. Following a brief cold soak, smooth fermentation of small lots with ritual manual punch downs was complete before barreling into neutral 450 liter Barriques for aging.
Out of the Shadows comes from a sliver of a vineyard in the Bennett Valley hills. The site has a western exposure, gravelly soil and sits on the side of a small mountain. This provides excellent drainage, even sun exposure, and a cool climate. The vineyard has a breathtaking view of the Santa Rosa plain and is meticulously farmed.
Le Regard / The Look
Deep cassis ink with a dark garnet robe, very dense, a classic Syrah.
Le Nez / The Nose
Pronounced aromatics of eucalyptus, menthol, cassis, blackberry layered with roast meat drippings. As the wine evolves in the glass or decanter, the aromatics become more voluptuous, conveying a tremendous sense of power, superbly focused and complex adding coco nibs, licorice, and wild herbal tones.
Degustation / The Taste
Up front the wine is a muscular concentration of cassis, peppery plums and caramelized blueberries, with layers of dried fruits, interlaced with licorice, black pepper, smoked bacon, and fennel. This would be a beast of a wine if the tannins had not been tamed by our commitment to age the wine for over 31 months in large barrels. The middle palate becomes velvety, yet incredibly rich, with a firm structure, laced with fatty vanilla, dried herbs and wet stone minerality. The smooth tannins linger with exotic spices, bitter chocolate, and coffee beans. Phenomenal acidity and balance give the wine phenomenal freshness and lift. The finish is long, seductive, and effortless. It is a classic Syrah; a powerful caldron of dark fruit, wood-smoke, licorice, garrigue herbs, black olives, flint, and fruit pits – creating length, complexity, and finesse.
Out of the Shadows 2010 is a powerful beast tamed by Soliste’s commitment to craft elegant wines, perfect for our legendary nights around the table with our friends and family. Bring on the suckling pig!!!!