Syrah, Russian River Valley (2015)
ONLY 165 CASES PRODUCED
Showing off a dark, concentrated color this Syrah is spicy and and rich in aromas and flavors. Plump raspberry, black tea leaf, vanilla and cracked white pepper, along with a meaty note, merge for a lush wine with good structure and a long smooth finish.
2015 brought an early and light harvest that began on August 10, the earliest date in St. Francis’ history. The year started out very warm and dry but then cool, damp weather in May hampered fruit set. Though the result was smaller, looser clusters on the vine, the warm and consistent summer that followed produced high quality fruit with exceptional aromatics and concentrated flavors.
This wine is a blend of 85% Russian River Valley fruit and15% Sonoma Valley fruit. The two regions produce grapes with different flavors and characteristics. The Russian River Valley has a cool, foggy climate and the Syrah grapes grown here are spicy with fine tannins and a delicate acidity. In Sonoma Valley, at our Wild Oak Estate Vineyard, the summer days are warmer with less fog influence producing Syrah with a little more intensity and darker fruit flavors. Winemaker Chris Louton combines the two for a balanced Syrah with layered flavors and depth.
This Syrah was fermented using a combination of whole cluster and whole berry techniques. The wine underwent a slow 14-day ferment and was then racked off into French oak barrels where it underwent malolactic fermentation naturally. Winemaker Chris Louton chose older oak barrels for this wine to allow the expression of the two vineyards to emerge. The wine was aged for 22 months before bottling.