The iron fist in a velvet glove hailing from our Estate Bradford Mountain Vineyard. A small block carved from the rocky knoll near the top, the Gravity Flow Block contains a portion of Viognier (6%) and Petite Sirah (1%) grapes that are cofermented with the 93% Syrah. This cofermentation, a classic style of the Northern Rhone, creates a wine that is intense, complex and expressive of this mountain terroir.
Classic aromas of leather, fresh-tilled earth and fine-grain
oak mingle with notes of red and black fruit. The silken
entry reveals a bright acidity in this perfectly aged wine.
The qualities found on the nose are repeated on the palate:
rich loamy earth and kid-glove leather weave through
dark cherry, blackberry and pomegranate flavors. Hints of
rhubarb, white floral and brown spices appear mid-palate,
adding interest and depth. A gentle structure of integrated
tannins and oak frames this beautifully balanced Syrah.
The “Gravity Flow Block” Syrah is the realization of a dream
of mine to produce a Syrah grown on the most exposed, welldrained location on our Bradford Mountain vineyard. This
rocky hillock directly behind my house on Bradford Mountain
got its name from the fact that at the top sits our 10,000
gallon water tank that serves our house and garden via gravity
flow. Though I had cleared the brush off the hill in the early
1990’s, it remained unplanted through the remainder of the
decade as I put my efforts into our new winery.
In March 2001, I planted the vineyard to 90% Syrah (five
clones), 8% Viognier and 2% Petite Sirah with the vines
planted 3 feet apart in the row and 6 feet between rows.
Though the rocky ground made digging the planting holes
a pain, we dug extra large holes mixing the rocky parent
soil with substantial quantities of compost to give the vines
a jump-start. In 2003, we harvested and produced our first
Syrah from this planting.
By co-fermenting the Syrah and Viognier (a nod to the
methods of the Northern Rhone Valley in France), the union
of aromas and flavors begins at the wine’s birth. The Viognier
contributes significant yet subtle influences with its delicate
floral and fruit components. The resulting wine is head spinning with seductive aromas, big chewy, juicy flavors and lots of
fruit. And, at the core of this wine you’ll discover that amazing
mineral essence, the trademark of Bradford Mountain terroir. Our Gravity Flow Block Syrah is a big, flavorful wine, displaying the classic “iron fist in a velvet glove” qualities that are very representative of both the vintage and the vineyard on
Food Pairing Notes
An ideal wine to serve with an artisan cheese platter for
dessert, or lamb shanks served over creamy polenta.