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.
The nose only hints at the depth and beauty of this stunning
Syrah. Aromas of vine-ripened blackberry mingle with finegrain leather, creamy oak, loamy earth and the essence of
polished tannins. A silken mouthfeel quickly tames the robust
tannins that dissipate as the wine breathes, letting the elegant
and perfectly integrated flavors come through. Concentrated
boysenberry, black plum, dark cherry and huckleberry infused
with luscious cocoa, black cardamom, lavender and a cedar
essence coat the palate and linger into a long finish. The
seamlessly integrated structure steps back as the wine opens,
allowing this sophisticated and graceful wine to shine.
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 Bradford Mountain.
Food Pairing Notes
Savor this Syrah as you enjoy a traditional osso buco, or slowcooked chicken mole served with handmade corn tortillas.