Syrah, Californio – 2014
The name Californio pays tribute to the early California settlers, or Californios, those of Spanish heritage who tamed the wilds of the frontier. As descendants of the early Californios, the Hyde and de Villaine families strive to present a Syrah that highlights one of California’s premier growing sites, Hyde Vineyard, while embodying the elegance of the Old World.
- Vineyards: Hyde Vineyard, at the eastern edge of Los Carneros
- Vineyard Owner: Mr. and Mrs. Aubert de Villaine Mr. and Mrs. Laurence W. Hyde Mr. and Mrs. Richard E. Hyde III
- Appellation: Carneros, Napa Valley
- Size: 2.1 acres
- Vine Age: 14 to 20 years
- Soil: Shallow loam over clay hardpan
- Exposure: South by southeast
After one of the driest winters on record in 2013, the rains eventually came between February and April 2014, and the ground was saturated fairly quickly. The rain was perfectly timed during bud break, promoting rapid, healthy growth in the vineyard. An unseasonably warm spring, followed by consistently warm summer days, promoted accelerated growth, ideal pollination and early véraison in late June. We experienced a few cooler days in August, which slowed ripening and helped preserve the mineral and fresh components in the wine. The clusters and berries were small in 2014, a marker of a great vintage. Harvest started mid-August and finished the first week of October.
- Barrel Aging: 22 months; 30% new French oak
- Bottled: July 20, 2016; unfined and unfiltered
Seductive aromas of cinnamon, black peppercorn and Asian spices overlay blue and black fruit character. Herbaceous dryness accompanies rich meat and cigar box to bring spectacular depth to the nose of this cool climate Syrah. Mouthwatering acidity transitions flawlessly into robust, yet supple, tannin that persists through a long and fresh finish. The palate is dense and spicy with pronounced concentration and balance. Warmed by flavors of black fruit, jasmine tea and peppercorn, this wine is a spectacular representation of this gorgeous Rhone variety. —Stéphane Vivier, Winemaker
- Varietal Composition: 100% Syrah
- Production (in cases): 290 cases (12/750ml)
- Alcohol: 14.9%
Syrah, Californio – 2014 – 95 points – James Suckling
This is dialed-in syrah with a very cool and complex character of blackberries, blueberries and lemon rind. Full- to medium-bodied, tight and layered. White peppers, dark fruit and tar. Slate and salt. Love its uniqueness and nature.