2009 Axiom® Syrah Alegría Vineyards
Gold Medal - 2012 West Coast Wine Competition
Aromas of blackberry, chocolate, and a touch of licorice mingle with a subtle yet intriguing blend of black pepper, smoky oak, and new leather. The smooth entry showcases ripe blackberry and spicy mocha, which retain a prominent role front to finish. Dark roasted coffee, anise, and blueberry appear mid-palate, with a hint of orange revealed in the lingering finish. The combination of opulent fruit, creamy texture, integrated oak, and solid tannins provides a rich, balanced Syrah. If enjoyed while young, we recommend decanting for an hour or more before serving.
When we bought our property in 1990, we found ancient Syrah vines growing among our 100-year-old Zinfandel vines. That gave us confidence that the land next to the old vines would be a good place to grow more Syrah.
Cuttings for our 1991 vineyard came from three sources—an old 1919 planting at McDowell Valley Vineyards in Mendocino County, a Chapoutier vineyard in the commune of Tain l’Hermitage in the Rhone Valley, and vines imported from Australia, apparently brought there from Hermitage in the 1830s—giving us three distinct Syrah clones. We inter-planted Viognier to co-ferment with the Syrah (in the style of the Rhone Valley’s Cote Rotie) to enhance aroma and stabilize color.
This wine was fermented with Syrah yeast, and then barrel-aged for 20 months, 38% in new French oak and 62% in older French and Hungarian oak barrels. The oak was carefully chosen to enhance the aromas and palate, adding notes of creaminess, spice, mocha, and chocolate.