2018 Desire Lines Shake Ridge Syrah
When we first started working with Shake Ridge in 2016, we made the wine exactly like our Syrah from Griffin’s Lair: 50% whole cluster under a cap submerger for the first half of fermentation, roughly 50/50 clonal split of Syrah Noir and 470, and élevage in neutral 500 liter barrels for sixteen months before bottling. But, it felt like our Shake Ridge had more to give, so we started tweaking things: more or less cluster depending on the block and vintage (anywhere from 30-100%); more Syrah Noir in the blend relative to 470; a bit of co-fermented Viognier for color, mouthfeel, and perfume (2-4%); and a little light-toast new oak to polish tannin (30% new in the blend, from a single 500 liter Taransaud barrel). Because the sites are different, the winemaking needed to be different to bring out the best in each wine. It seems obvious in retrospect, but it’s taken us a couple of years of diligent work and patient teaching by Ann to understand exactly what vineyard practices will get us to where we want to go, and how we can carefully accommodate those practices in the cellar.
“The 2018 Syrah Shake Ridge is another very pretty wine in this lineup. Sweet floral notes, chalk, white pepper and red berry fruit are perked up by veins of salinity that give the wine its distinctive feel and sense of energy. Readers will find a nuanced, aromatically intense Syrah built more on elegance than power.” – 92 points, Antonio Galloni (Vinous)
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