92 points - Purely Domestic Wine Report
Alluring plum and dark berry aromas mingle with toasty oak and traces of leather and earth. The smooth entry reveals a robust wine with plush flavors of blackberry, cherry, and plum, dancing with hints of mocha and floral and a touch of dark chocolate on the lingering finish.
28 years ago, in 1991, we planted our south-facing hillside as a field blend of Syrah inter-planted with Viognier. We follow the old Côte Rôtie tradition of co-fermenting the two varieties, a practice that adds aroma and enhances color. We call this wine “Axiom” (a self-evident truth) because it is such a classic expression of Russian River Syrah.
Plentiful rain ended a four-year drought cycle. The heavier crop was hand thinned to keep the vines in balance. A frost-free spring and generally mild summer gave the 2016 vintage optimal flavor development.
After a relatively early harvest, a three-day cold soak allowed natural enzymes to unlock flavors and aromas from the two varieties. Native yeast spontaneously began fermentation in an open-top fermenter, which we supplemented with Syrah yeast from the Rhone Valley. The wine aged sur lies for 18 months in a combination of barrels (26% new) carefully selected for their ability to enhance Axiom’s typical berry flavors while adding structure and notes of vanilla and spice.
|Appellation||Russian River Valley|
|Varietal||98% Syrah and 2% Viognier|
|Pairing||an array of grilled meats and the finesse to complement grilled salmon or a hearty vegetable and bean soup.|