Syrah, Californio – 2015
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: 15 to 21 years
- Soil: Shallow loam over clay hardpan
- Exposure: South by southeast
The drought cycle that started in 2012 continued into 2015. As a result, we experienced a warm dry winter and an early start to the vegetative cycle with bud break in February. In May, unseasonably cool weather caused poor pollination, resulting in concentrated fruit due to millerandage — small, seedless berries amid a few normal berries, creating the intensity and complexity in the juice. The summer was hot overall at Hyde Vineyard. Thanks to a few cool days in early August, the growing season was extended, allowing the grapes to reach great maturity.
- Barrel Aging: 22 months; 30% new French oak
- Bottled: July 31, 2017; unfined and unfiltered
- Varietal Composition: 100% Syrah
- Production (in cases): 258 cases (12/750ml)
- Alcohol: 14.6%
Flavors of rich, black cherries and Asian plum open to black pepper, smoked red meat, and cigar box. Seductive aromas of sweet lavender and truffle are juxtaposed by layers of iron minerality and crushed Friar plum. Its restrained power and mouthwatering acidity are delicately balanced with integrated tannins that promise years of aging. With purity of fruit and complex spices, this wine entices the senses and captures attention. —Guillame Boudet, Winemaker