2015 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 2015 vintage is exceptional – it certainly benefits from our experience of the previous 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.
Out of the Shadows 2015 comes from a vineyard cooled by coastal and bay winds in the Petaluma Gap. The site has a western exposure, loamy soils, and steep elevation. This provides excellent drainage, even sun exposure, and a cool climate.
Aged 34 months in 450 Liter Barriques/Foudres
Le Regard / The Look
Deep cassis and boysenberry ink denoting a wine of great density and grip.
Le Nez / The Nose
Impressive bouquet of mulled raspberries, kirsch, cassis, toasted spices, sambuca, and peppery garrigue. As the wine evolves in the glass or decanter, the aromatics become more exotic and peppery, with aromas of bacon fat, fennel tops, and dried and smoked Provençale herbs, superbly focused and ethereal finishing with dark chocolate espresso ganache.
Degustation / The Taste
Up front the wine is an explosion of cassis, peppery plums, and raspberry compote macerated in Sambuca, Balinese black pepper, black olive, and fennel tops. This would be a Beast of a wine if the tannins had not been tamed by our commitment to age the wine for 22 months in large barrels. The middle pal-ate is high tones, vibrant, incredibly rich, and linear, laced with rooibos tea, cinnamon, cardamom, and dried maple leaves. The smooth focus tannins elevate the wine with bitter chocolate, coffee beans, and dried toasted herbs. The Finish is long, elegant, and effortless, combining refined red fruit acidity with sandalwood. The wine moves with power, persistence, grace, and will age for years to come if you can resist. It has the elegance of Chateau Rayas, the power of Cornas, and the enigma of Hermitage.
Out of the Shadows 2015 is a Powerful Beast tamed by Soliste’s commitment to craft elegant wines. Merci Monsieur Guigal for your generosity, passion, and a day we will never forget.