With some of the lowest yields in recent memory, 2005 will go down as one of our most successful and demanding vintages. Poor weather throughout California in the spring resulted in poor fruit set and consequently lower yields. The small crop and perfect weather during the prime ripening zone allowed us to harvest perfectly ripe fruit packed with flavor and structure.
Fat Buck Ridge, located on our estate Gist Ranch, sits on a west-facing ridge of fractured sandstone and shale. The thin soils and low-vigor rootstock help keep Syrah, a notoriously vigorous vine, in check and allow for maximum flavor development. We thin the crop at verasion to ensure even ripening and pick when flavor development is at its peak.
We cold soaked our Syrah for a long seven days and fermented the must in a combination of small 0.75 ton fermentors and larger 2 ton stainless-steel tanks. After 18 days on skins we gently pressed the wine into 50% new French Oak barrels for 16 months where it rested sur-lee until being racked for bottling.
Notes of bacon, caramel and toasted black fruits are evident in the nose. The mouth features a mix of red and black fruit flavors as well as spice and violet notes. The oak is in moderation allowing the character of the grape and terroir to take center stage. This Syrah is dense and full bodied, yet balanced enough to be drunk over the next 3-5 years. Decant.
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