2009 Syrah, Larry Hyde & Sons Vineyard
Winemaker Notes This is the first year Joseph Phelps worked with fruit from the Larry Hyde & Sons Vineyard. This vineyard site, planted in 2001 and 2006, has a typically cooler climate than the Hyde Vineyard we work with in Carneros and is situated on a hilly vein of old, rocky terraces with clay loam soils from the Haire series that capture the aromatics and flavors of Syrah perfectly. The inky, bold color of this wine paves the way for beautiful classic Syrah aromas of white pepper, licorice, allspice and marshmallow. The seamless and complex finish is layered with silky, lush tannins and lingers on the palate as it continues to evolve.
Winemaking Data Grapes were picked at an average 24.4° Brix and fermented in stainless steel tanks after a cold soak of seven days. The wine was aged 18 months in a combination of 30% new French oak and 70% two-year-old French oak barrels. 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 June 2011.
Vintage Notes 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 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. 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.
90 Points - Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Good, full-ruby. musky aromas of black raspberry, smoke and meat. Fatter and sweeter than the 2008 version, showing more stuffing and breadth but also a serious tannic spine. More classic Syrah than the 2008, thanks to the some whole berry vinification and an enticing high note of white pepper. This 2009 comes from a different block of wines planted in a relatively cool spot on a gravelly knoll. (May/June 2011)
93 Points - Wine Enthusiast
This wine, which is from the Napa side of the sprawling Carneros appellation, is superb. It's soft, chocolaty, with a rich vein of blackberries, but it also has a tannic structure and dry finish that make it balanced and complex. (June 2012)
92 Points - Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine
This deep and expressive Syrah sourced from one of Napa's premier growers is a broad, intensely varietal working that offers up layers of blackberries, pepper and smoked-meat complexities. It is uncannily polished for the very deeply stuffed wine that it is, and its continuous flavors keep on coming even as sizable tannins come to play. Time is a must here, but a very sophisticated Syrah awaits those with patience to hold it for a half-dozen years. (Mar. 2012)
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Blend and Grape Sources 100% Napa Valley Syrah from the Larry Hyde & Sons Vineyard. This is the first vineyard designate wine made from this location by Joseph Phelps.
Appellation Napa Valley
Harvest Dates September 29, 2009
Aging/Cooperage 18 months in a combination of 30% new French oak and 70% two-year-old French oak barrels. Barrel coopers, Ermitage, François Frères, Sirugue and Saint Martin, were selected for their tight grain and nuanced oak characteristics.