2016 Double L Syrah 1.5L
Syrah, originally from the Northern Rhone Valley in France, is one of the world's most widely planted wine grapes. Whether in Hermitage, Cote Rotie or Santa Lucia Highlands, Syrah from cool climates displays equal parts intensity and elegance.
Budbreak at the beginning of the 2016 growing season was about 10 days earlier than normal, which also meant a somewhat early harvest at the end of the cycle. The winter/spring rainfall totals were better than 2015, but not near what the forecasters predicted. The spring and summer were mild with no extreme cold or hot periods, but mildew control was a challenge. Happily, no rain in the fall resulted in clean fruit.
Syrah is the last varietal to be harvested each year on the Double L. The grapes are hand picked and sorted for optimal flavor and acidity. After destemming, the must is fermented to dryness in small open-top tanks. Fourteen months of aging in 26% new French barrels added polish and elegance.
This wine shows inky purple hues in the glass. Attractive aromas of liquorice and brambleberry, with white pepper and violets in the background, are supported by black fruit and leather on the palate.
"Youthful purple. Aromas of ripe dark berries, olive and pungent flowers are lifted by vibrant mineral and peppery spice notes. Sweet and energetic on the palate, offering intense blackberry, cherry cola and violet pastille flavors with salty olive and cracked pepper nuances. Puts on weight with air while maintaining vivacity and finishes smoky, smooth and impressively long, displaying harmonious tannins and building spiciness." - Josh Raynolds, October 2018
"A step up, the 2016 Syrah Double L is all Syrah that spent 14 months in 26% new French oak. It has terrific purity of fruit as well as notes of bloody meats, iron, violets, and pepper. Medium to full-bodied, polished, and nicely balanced, it has one foot in the northern Rhône and one foot firmly in the Santa Lucia Highlands." - Jeb Dunnuck, February 2019
"Lots of crush black peppers, cloves and dark fruits follow through to a full body with medium tannins. A tar, spice and dark-fruit finish. Asphalt undertones. Drink now." - JamesSuckling.com, May 2018
"On the one hand, this expressive Syrah is surprisingly outgoing in fruit given its extreme youth, but, on the other, it shows a slowly revealed sense of reserve and inklings of polish that suggest far more yet to come. It is dense and fairly full-bodied without ever once so much as hinting at excess, and it exhibits great stamina and palatal length. What it is not is a wine to consider for drinking anytime soon, and, like the very best of its breed, it deserves to rest in the cellar for a good half-dozen years." - Connoisseurs' Guide, March 2018