2020 Upper Crust
Historically, our Upper Crust Syrah has been sourced from Rancho Sisquoc in the Santa Maria Valley. I used to think nothing could ever rival the fruit from Sisquoc until I started working with the Syrah from the Nolan Vineyard in Alisos Canyon. Now I have two vineyards that grow crazy good Syrah. The fruit from these two great vineyards are comparable in quality but different in character, and the two of them together bring a lot of dimension and complexity to the wine, which is dark and concentrated with lavender and smoky qualities. This wine is structured enough to age for many years, but rich enough to be drinkable now, especially when paired with something robust. Think red meat.
Each year I go up to the Santa Maria area to purchase the Dijon 470 clone of Syrah that grows in the upper terrace on Rancho Sisquoc’s “McMurray Bench”. The upper terrace is a crusty old piece of dirt that was once described to me by, now-retired grower, Ed Holt as “concretious”, and thus the plight of the vines. They basically have to eke out an existence growing in a soil that is like cement when it dries out. It’s a plight that has forced many a great wine to come out of Block 2, where 3 acres of the clone 470 are located.