Barsotti agreed to permit Ron Mansfield plant Gamay for Edmunds St John in 2005. At the time, there was an adjacent property on which some Syrah had been planted a number of years earlier. The owner of that parcel, apparently in some financial difficulty, abandoned the property, and when it became available, Barsotti acquired it, and Ron set about bringing the Syrah block back into production (no small task). 2013 was the first year when a crop was available, and I expressed interest in a bit of the fruit, which became part of our 2013 North Canyon Road Syrah (which also featured grapes from Fenaughty Vineyard). As harvest in 2014 approached, I decided, based on tasting the grapes in the field, that the Barsotti terroir (soils based on decomposed granite) warranted a bottling of its own, so it became the only Syrah from Edmunds St John in 2014.
Winemaking Notes: Roughly 3.4 tons of Syrah grapes picked September 2nd. Grapes were de-stemmed into half-ton bins, and fermentation took place over a 15 day period, without inoculation. As the cap formed, skins were punched down manually, morning and evening. Brix at harvest was between 20.4 and 20.7, pH below 3.4. At dryness, the wine was pressed into French barrels that had held 13 previous vintages of red wine. Malolactic fermentation was spontaneous, after which a bit of SO2 was added, and the wine settled in barrel, and was left on lees until late February, when it was racked into stainless. Bottling was done in early Summer, 2015. Alcohol by volume is 11.9%.
Winemaker’s Tasting Notes: Dark purple-red color, quite saturated. Nose of smoke and pepper, and iron, quite energetic and firm. Very fresh. The initial taste, of blackberry is quickly joined by pepper, and iron. Acidity is refreshing, tannins supple and fine. There is power, but it’s without bombast; it’s coiled, and deep. Definitely a wine for the long haul.
Total Production: 224 cases
Retail price: $35.00