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The Rossi Syrah is usually the biggest of my Syrah wines and is kept longer in bottle before release for that reason. It is my last release from 2018 and the extra time has allowed the wine to showcase the meaty and gamey side of the Syrah grape. It will be at its best with more sturdy meals and will continue to hold up for another 8+ years for those with cellar space.
It had equal components of the Estate Syrah, Ellen Syrah and McGraw vineyard cabernet. After topping barrels it ended up at 68% Syrah and 32% Cabernet. 32 is a special number for me as dad was born in 1932 and this wine became Bin 32, using the bin number scheme often used in Australia to designate where wines were stored for later labelling. This first Bin 32 may be my favorite wine from the vintage. Great color, excellent structure, ready to drink now or able to improve in the cellar for 10 years or more.
After the fire ravaged the 2017 harvest, Random Ridge Vineyard bounced back with an excellent, though very small harvest in 2018. My section, coming from the TeePee and Old Vine blocks, produced a scant 3 barrels, but the wine is a blockbuster. This is true Mt. Veeder Cabernet; excellent tannin structure and brushy fruit notes that seem to reflect the chapparal and high elevations of the mountain. At its best with a steak or with time in the cellar.
The estate Syrah has shown that it deserves to be bottled separately. The wine is a shade more elegant than the ’17 version and has such lovely balance that makes it one of my favorite wines from that vintage. Ready to drink now but with the ability to continue to improve for another 5-8 years.
This 3 bottle selection contains some of my favorite selections: The 2018 Cabernet is from Mount Veeder's Random Ridge Vineyard and the 2021 Chardonnay is from the outstanding Hawk Hill Vineyard in Freestone. The 2015 Rossi Ranch Syrah is a cellar selection from one of the best vintages for Rossi Syrah. All are ready to enjoy now or cellar for 5+ years.
The Cuvée Ellen label, a tribute to my grandmother Ellen is made from fruit grown here in Glen Ellen. The first Ellen Syrah was made in 2007, also with more restrained Syrah components, and that blend continues to show well today. This is a lovely wine that can be enjoyed now but should continue to improve for another 5-8 years. This wine is medium bodied, elegant and with lots of cherry fruit flavors and spice and will be at its best with food. I think this wine will improve for another 5-8 years but provides excellent drinking now.
Made from Estate grown grapes, this blend is based on the Zinfandel grown on the hillside at the back of the property bringing bright berry flavors with Petite sirah added for color and structure and Grenache for acidity and red fruit. The first one since 2018 and a great representation of the 2021 harvest. I strongly recommend this wine with any grilled foods over Summer, and it should keep its fruit and intensity for another 3-5 years if you have patience and cellaring space. I think it is a lovely tribute to those old pioneers in the California wine industry who worked so hard to establish this wine region.
The McGraw Cabernet wines have always shown lovely bright fruit that typifies the grape and the region. The excellent tannin structure guarantees a good cellar life as the ’08 and ’12 wines still demonstrate but they are also wines that can be enjoyed in their youth. As benefits the farming, it is a more traditional Cabernet, with excellent red fruit, and balanced acid and tannin that disappear when having food. It is ready to enjoy now but will hold for up to 10 more years in a good cellar.
A wine from the historic Rossi Ranch Vineyard that shows lovely fruit to balance the soft tannins. The perfect pairing with hearty and robust dishes. Originally released back in 2019 but I know sometimes it is difficult to find ideal storage conditions, so I did it for you! I kept back 70 cases for re-release for Spring.
Old Zinfandel vineyards are mostly field blends of many different varieties and as they all ripen at different times, it makes a picking decision difficult. Throw in Zinfandel’s penchant for uneven ripening, and sampling becomes a real challenge! We’ll take the stress though, as these old field blends, and Rossi Ranch in particular, offer loads of delicious and intense flavors that work so well with bold flavored meals. This release is my second decade working with Rossi fruit and I’ve found that experience is the best teacher. I expect it will be at its best now and for the next 4-5 years.