2015 Cherry Ridge Vineyard Syrah


Tasting Notes

The reduced crop in 2015 gave us extremely concentrated, rich wines, which is foretold by the enticing vivid ruby color of the wine in the glass. The initial aromas of cedar, leather and thyme are joined by boysenberry and cherry after time in the glass. White pepper spice plays its familiar supporting role around the edges of the fruit. In the mouth, gorgeous dark plum compote and black cherry pie flavors carry cinnamon and nutmeg notes on plush but assertive tannins. A lively finish of black raspberry and sandalwood cap off the experience, which is made better only by an accompaniment of creamy goat cheese, grilled pepper-crusted lamb, or sautéed veal chops.

Winemaker's Notes

The Vineyard

Cherry Ridge juts out over the west side of Green Valley just north of the Petaluma Wind Gap. This scenic vineyard enjoys a south facing slope at the top of the ridge, making it a proverbial “warm spot in a cold area”. Cherry Ridge is just temperate enough to ripen Syrah (most years) in a region best known for the cold-loving Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Just over three acres are planted, split between clones 470, 383 and 877, for the balance of bright fruit, white pepper spice, and plush tannins that we love.

The wet spring of 2015 limiting set at all our vineyards. The reds, including our Syrah, were the most heavily impacted, reducing our harvest to about half of a typical year. The tiny crop meant the fruit ripened early, setting a new record for this vineyard which can frequently wait until nearly Halloween to pick: we brought in our Syrah during the last week of harvest, on September 21.



In the traditional fashion, our Syrah is fermented in small open top fermenters, where punchdowns impart a softness which so compliment the depth inherent in this varietal.

The fruit is hand sorted and destemmed, and the must is cold-soaked for 5 days in order to gently extract color, spice and fruit characters, while mitigating harsher tannins. After fermentation, the wine is racked into French oak to age. During its barrel aging, this wine was racked twice: once for initial blending and barrel honing, and a second time to further bring along flavor and tannin development. We always start out with fewer new barrels than it might end up in, both to finesse the amount of new wood, and to season some new barrels with white fermentation before using them in the final Syrah aging. The wine was bottled in August of 2017.


2015 Cherry Ridge Vineyard Syrah

Technical Data

Alcohol: 13.8%
Titratable Acidity: 6.1 g/L
pH: 3.54
Winemaking: Open top fermentation, cold soak, manual punch down
Barrel Aging: 23 months in French oak, 40% new

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