First Syrah Came in Today

September 4, 2013, 7:30 AM; the first Syrah of the vintage is on the sorting table! We are off to the races! Stephan anticipates that we will be harvesting Syrah over the next 10 days to two weeks, daily, with an eye out on the Cabernet, which will follow. With 10 blocks of Syrah on the property, each of them grown on hillsides that contain multiple micro climates, the task is an arduous one as regards the picking, sorting, and vinification of these small lots of wine. While this remains the standard practice in 2013, this year, as nature permits, Stephan is also taking an exceptional measure in co-fermenting clones #1, #99, and the Tablas Creek clone from the Michael’s House block just north east of the winery. As these clones/blocks end up being blended together every year anyway, the thinking is that the co- fermentation process will simply marry the wines together during fermentation instead of in the form of wine at blending March following vintage. Ideally, this process makes for a more integrated and seamless wine. Such was the case in 2004 when Stephan crafted Coincidence. Cuvee Chloe and Cuvee Antolien are contemporary evidence that this process crafts silky, seamless wines of distinction.

The fruit is very nice, firm, with good density. The yields are lower than expected, clusters are uniform. Dave says “The fruit looks good”.