Arnot-Roberts (Northern California only), 2018 Syrah, Sonoma Coast
Produced from two stunning vineyards, Baker Lane and Solas, which have unmatched pedigree in their own right. Blended together, this wine really shines while showing the warmer, ripe fruit expected from the Sonoma Coast appellation with crisp cool, blue fruit aromatics and texture that the fog shrouded sites offer up in abundance.
A perennial favorite that drinks exceptionally well when young but ages with great poise into a wine that stands tall next to almost any Northern Rhône Syrah that you can throw at it. Dark berry fruit infused with pepper and spice pack the nose of this beauty that is delightfully well-balanced with moderate alcohol levels and bracing acidity being the norm. Very food friendly!
Baker Lane Vineyard
In the windswept hills west of the town of Sebastopol, just off the Gravenstein Highway, sits the gorgeous Baker Lane vineyard. This verdant, pastoral setting is home to vintner Stephen Singer’s realized dream of growing world-class Syrah in California. This hilly region between Sebastopol and Petaluma in Western Sonoma County was dominated for decades by apple orchards and livestock grazing. As competition from growers in Washington exerted pressure on the market, many apple growers either sold their land or began converting to grapes. Baker Lane is one of these sites, and the remaining heirloom trees that border the vineyard still produce some of the most flavorful apples in California. The soils here are pale, very fine sandy Goldridge loam, perfectly suited for the cultivation of Syrah. Average temperatures at Baker Lane are cool, and although warmer than Que Syrah or Clary Ranch, this site benefits from a long, steady growing season frequented by regular fog incursion and breezy afternoons though spring and summer. The Syrah grown by Stephen Singer and organic viticultural expert Greg Adams is some of the best in Sonoma County, and we are lucky to work with a small amount for our Sonoma Coast Syrah. The tiny berries here are so dark, they are nearly black in appearance. The flavors in the resulting wine are saturated with savory, roasted meaty notes that are overlaid by pretty, floral and dark-fruited aromas.
“Solas” is a Gaelic word meaning comfort, and is the name given to one of the oldest Syrah vineyards in Sonoma County. Paul and Lynn O’Neill own and farm the Solas vineyard in the rolling hills between Sebastopol and Healdsburg at the edge of the Russian River Valley. This site was originally planted to wine grapes in the 1920s, then was converted to apples, and then to olives before eventually returning to Syrah grapes in 1992. Solas occupies a magic location for growing Syrah with its well-drained, sandy goldridge soils and abundant sunlight during the growing season. The warmest of our Syrah sites, Solas yields thick-skinned fruit that is intensely dark and concentrated with a blueish purple hue. The juice from this gorgeous fruit stains everything it comes in contact with in the cellar. The vineyard is broken up into several blocks with several different clonal selections represented including; Durell, 470, 877 and Alban. The variety of genetic material on the property helps to add layers of different flavor and complexity to the resulting wine.