2014 Out of the Shadows Syrah
When Don & I visited the Northern Rhone in the cold winter of 2008 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 33 months in barriques in the tradition of the Northern Rhone masters.
The 2014 vintage is exceptional – it certainly benefits from our experiences from earlier vintages and also from a gentle growing season with long hang time to create refined aromatics 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
2014 had a moderate winter resulting in an early start to the vintage. We enjoyed a cool spring and a good fruit set. Overall it was a temperate, gentle growing season. Cool weather in August enabled flavors and color to fully develop before harvest. 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 450 liter Barriques for extended aging.
Our Syrah 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.
2014 Out of the Shadows Syrah, Bennett Valley
The impressive Sonoma Côte Rotie, 100% Syrah, inspired by the one and only JP Jamet.
Aged 33 months in 450 Liter Barriques/Foudre
Le Regard / The Look
Vivid Cassis with a dark Amethyst robe, deep opacity denoting a wine of great density, structure, and concentration.
Le Nez / The Nose
Rich and exotic aromatics of violets, crème de Cassis, Licorice, smokey meat drippings layered with dry herbal undertones, and minerality. As the wine evolves in the glass or decanter, the aromatics become more sumptuous, muscular yet superbly elegant, laced with blueberry compote spiked with Kirsch, tobacco leaves, espresso, and chocolate ganache.
Degustation / The Taste
Upfront the wine is texturally perfect, with assertive concentrations of purple and black fruit compote and liqueur ( cassis, blueberry, blackberry) loaded with black pepper, interlaced with salty licorice, and dried herbes de Provence. This would be a Beast of a wine if the tannins had not been tamed by our commitment to age the wine for 33 months in large barrels. As a result, the middle palate becomes incredibly polished, silky yet thick and textural, losing nothing of its verve, concentration, and energy. The back palate is a crescendo, ascending with deep, black fruit and plum paste, layered with graphite, toasted fennel seeds, cardamom, and smoky bacon. Phenomenal tannic acidity and balance add to the freshness of this wine. The Finish is infinite, composed, elegant, and effortless. It is a powerful cauldron of tart cassis, dark plums, bitter caramel, licorice, and black tea must, creating length, complexity, and finesse. A Beast of a wine tamed by Soliste’s commitment to craft elegant wines. Beauty and the Beast.
|14.1% alc. 195 cases produced||Available 750ml $75|