Syrah and Aloha, may not be things you think of together, but think about it. There is a sense of generosity in a Syrah. It tends to be more laid back than the Cabs, and it manages to make itself at home, where ever it goes. A bit of a chameleon, fitting in and adapting to soils and climates. It’s easy-going.
2018 L’Ecole No. 41 Syrah Estate Seven Hills Vineyard
Marcus refers to 2018 as a unicorn vintage. Everything was just right. The weather was right so that there was low disease pressure and they had the luxury of long hangtime into October.
This Syrah was picked over 2 days in September from 3 different blocks in the Seven Hills vineyard. Fermented in 1.5-ton fermenters with 2 punch downs each day it saw no pumping until it went into barrel. This is important because it is gentle on the wine.
They did 20% whole cluster in the ferment. What does that really mean? Well, 20% of the fruit did not get destemmed and they put the whole clusters in at the bottom of the fermenter. This gives structure to the wine and adds tannins. It also helps to enhance the color. Marcus had been part of a study on stem inclusion and they found the sweet spot to be at 20-30%.
Stem inclusion can naturally soften acids, build complexity and improve color stability.