Syrah is an ancient grape variety that was naturally hybridized in the northern end of France’s Rhone Valley over 2,000 years ago from two obscure parent grapes. It’s the 7th most widely planted grape in the world – grown on all continents. It is regarded as one of the Noble Varieties*. A complex and flavorful wine with depth and power, Syrah was one of the two wine varieties that we wanted to explore when we founded Crystal Basin. Our best results were perhaps from our 2010 vintage, when we won Best of Class at the 2013 CA State Fair.
Our Syrah grapes come from two sites in El Dorado County – both at high altitude. Once is behind the Apple Mountain Golf Resort off Carson Road and the other is up Happy Valley Road in an especially remote location. We’ve also purchased a small amount of Syrah from Pleasant Valley since 1993 and there are times when that vineyard produces transcendent fruit. All these vineyards get ripe in mid-October and the pick point can be determined by how ‘slippery’ the grape skin is over the pulp and seeds of the grape.
Wine of the Month
Every month we highlight one of our favorite wines. In March 2022, that’s our award winning Syrah. Join Mike Owens and Rex on the Radio McNeil as they demonstrate the wine of the month tastings you can expect this month.
Wine of the Month
Syrah Vertical Tastings Below
We use Syrah as a component of two of our Ascendance blends – our Victorie Rhone blend and our Xpealidocious SuperCalifornian. We also find a batch of Syrah from time to time that is worth of our Red Cap program, which is our Best of the Best. The process of blending these wines is like unwrapping presents under a Christmas tree! We hope you enjoy the results as much as we enjoy making our wines.
*Extra credit? Check this cool article about Noble Varieties and the range of wine flavors here: https://winefolly.com/lifestyle/the-18-noble-grapes-wine-challenge/