2016 Desire Lines Griffin’s Lair Syrah
The vines at Griffin’s Lair are planted on a north-facing hillside in the very throat of the Petaluma Gap. The vineyard bears the full brunt of the chilly winds that rip through the Gap – as the Central Valley warms each morning, the resulting convective uplift sucks cold marine air inland from the Sonoma Coast, in through a gap in the coast range and along the Petaluma River to San Pablo Bay. This marine influence moderates the afternoon temperatures of the Petaluma River valley, delivering cool air when temperatures would otherwise be at their highest. The vines are regularly buffeted by winds strong enough to limit leaf stomatal conductance, which delays sugar ripening by shutting down photosynthesis, often for hours at a time each day. Portions of the Petaluma Gap are effectively the coldest parts of the vast Sonoma Coast AVA.
Our 2016 Griffin’s Lair Syrah was fermented with 50% whole cluster, with a submerged cap for the first half of fermentation and raised in neutral large format barrels for 15 months before bottling without fining or filtration. The 2016 is vibrant and lithe and a bit more red-fruited than the 2015, especially after a decant, revealing bacon, olive tapenade, and black tea that practically shout "Griffin’s Lair!"
"The 2016 Syrah Griffin's Lair Vineyard is a beautifully polished, nuanced wine that captures the personality of this Petaluma Gap site so well. Lavender, spice, leather, black pepper, licorice and dried flowers are all nicely woven together in this sleek, nuanced Syrah from Desire Lines." - 93 points, Antonio Galloni (Vinous)
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