2005 Bassetti Vineyard Syrah

When the grapes for this wine had finished fermenting, and the wine dripped out of the press, the taste was electrifying. But that had almost always been true for the wines we’d made from Bassetti. The difference in ’05 seemed to me to be that we’d waited a bit longer to pick, and the tannins seemed a bit rounder and prettier. Even so the wine seemed formidable. As I was wont to do in those days, I prognosticated regarding likely number of years before the wine reaches optimal drinking phase. The number I suggested was north of 30. In the last year or two I’ve heard, or read, comments from tasters indicating they felt it was beginning to drink pretty nicely. I notice when people make those kinds of comments, and I’m not a bit unwilling reconsider my earlier appraisal. So a couple of weeks ago I opened a bottle with a colleague, someone whose opinion I greatly respect, one of the most scholarly, learned wine people alive. It smelled good, but the first thing out of my mouth, after tasting, was: “damn, this stuff is made out of solid steel.” His response, was succinct: “yep.”


Bassetti Vineyard is just a couple of miles from the Pacific Ocean, some 22 or more miles west from Paso Robles. The vineyard was planted in 1998, mainly on a 5 acre knoll consisting primarily of very poor, rocky soil. The cool nature of the site makes for very slow ripening, and gives wines with very high skin-to juice ration, tremendous phenolic character, and very low pH/ high acidity, and an extremely firm and energetic expression. There isn’t a lot of this wine left, but it is very exceptional stuff, and will greatly reward patience in a good cellar. Price is $60.00 per bottle.





Produced And Bottled by Thirsty Pagans With Big Ideas, under the direction of Steve Edmunds, Winemaker

© 2006 Edmunds St. John
1331 Walnut Street
Berkeley, CA 94709
t: (510) 981.1510
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