Recently, I did some blending trails with my two lots of Syrah from 2008. The two lots are from the Thompson vineyard and White Hawk vineyard in Santa Barbara County. The goal of the blending trial was to see if the wines were ready to make the primary blend of the two and/or would I need to bottle them seperately. Thankfully, the two syrahs (each made as a blending component of a Santa Barbara County Syrah) are complimentary to each other.
2008 White Hawk Vineyard, Syrah, Santa Barbary County
App -> opaque black w/purple hues core changes to a purple rim
Nose -> Medium+ intensity aromas of black fruit, black olive, dried herbs, boysenberry
Palate -> Medium+ tannins (fine-grained with a hint of green tannins on finish), high acidity; medium+ intensity flavors of black fruit, violets, fresh raspberry (frambiose), blackberry, earth, cherry; medium+ alcohol, long length
2008 Thompson Vineyard, Syrah, Santa Barbara County
App -> opaque black/purple hues core changes to a purple rim
Nose -> pronounced intensity aromas of toasted espresso, milk chocolate
Palate -> Medium+ Alcohol; pronounced flavors of black fruit, bramble berries, spicy red fruit, light sulphur note (from recent sulphur addition) red grapefruit on finish
The blending trials consisted of 50% Thompson / 50% White Hawk to get a baseline to see how the two complimented each other — quite positive! — followed by blending with different amounts of Viognier, Grenache and/or Mourvedre. The result of the trial for the primary blend turned out to be 49.5% Thompson / 49.5% White Hawk / 1% Catie’s Corner Viognier. The primary blend will be completed and put back into neutral barrel as the wine does not need anymore tannins to round out the wine. The small amount of Viognier does a great job of enhancing the aromatics and softening the strong tannins from the Thompson Syrah (it was in a new barrel with med+ toast).
App-> opaque black/purple core transitioning to a purple rim
Nose -> Medium+ intensity aromas of black fruit(olive, cherry, cassis), blueberry, earth, red floral, apricot (slight from viognier)
Palate -> High tannins (soft), pronounced intensity flavors of black olive, sweet olive plant flowers, boysenberry, blueberry, currant, warm spice on finish; long length, high acidity, pronounced concentration
The primary blend with re-evaluated in 5 weeks to see how the blend is settling down. The goal is to bottle the wine sooner rather than later to maintain the excellent aromas and flavors. I think it will be a very good wine which will need 12 to 18 months in the bottle before it really starts to open up. The wine is very big with an elegant and complexity to it. I am very excited to see what it turns into!