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100% Napa Valley Syrah from the Hyde Vineyard.
Grapes were picked at an average 25.1o Brix and fermented in stainless steel tanks after a cold soak of seven days. The wine was aged 19 months in a combination of 30% new French oak (30% puncheons and 70% barriques) and two-year-old French oak barrels. Aging partially in oak puncheons adds to the overall elegance and a gentle integration of oak in the finished wine. Barrel coopers Ermitage, François Frères, Sirugue and Saint Martin were selected for their tight grain and nuanced oak characteristics. This wine was bottled unfiltered in August 2011.
The 2009 Syrah is deeply colored and has heady aromatics of blueberry syrup, plum, vanilla cream, hints of gardenia, spicy white pepper and nutmeg. Layers of fruit, and sweet, well-structured tannins finish this wine brilliantly. The 2009 vintage marks the 36th Syrah release from Joseph Phelps Vineyards.
The 2009 growing season began, and seemed to end, with rain. The late spring rains ended in early May to help recharge the soil moisture profile just in time for the first heat spike over 100°F in mid-May. June and July were cooler months, August recorded normal weather patterns and September was warmer than normal based on our 26 year degree-day-average. There were a total of 19 days during the growing season yielding temperatures over 100°F, most of which were in August and September. Evening temperatures during the warm patterns remained cool enough to allow for better vine recovery from each day’s heat.
The color and concentration of the Syrah blocks, combined with flavor development, were good indicators that full fruit maturity had been achieved. The Syrah blocks were picked before four inches of rain fell on October 13th.