Our 2000 Syrah is the first example of this wine we have produced. It began life as an experiment, when we were fortuitously offered grapes at the last moment by a trusted grower, the uncontracted remainder of his vineyard. I jumped at the chance, having always wished to work with Syrah. The grapes came in to the winery at a slightly higher than normal (for us) ripeness of 25 degrees Brix. I fermented using the indigenous yeasts from the grapes. Amazingly, the wine reached a higher alcohol level than anyone felt was possible. Even more amazing, however, was the fact that the wine did not exhibit an alcoholic character consistent with its concentration. Instead, the big, rich fruit character became focused and intense, the alcohol accentuating the peppery profile which is a typical component of the flavore profile of this varietal. This is a big, intense wine, extremely complex and multi-dimensional.
To complement the flavor profile of a wine such as this, very special oak was needed. In this case, new French oak at a medium-heavy toast level was chosen. There is so much flavor in this wine that if probably could have absorbed much more oak without oak dominating the flavor profile. We tend to be very conservative with our oak use, however, as we desire only to "season" the wine with oak as a condiment, rather than as a dominant flavor and aroma.
GAN EDEN's 2000 Syrah was bottled towards the end of February, and is just coming out of bottle shock. In fact, we expect it to improve for quite some time to come. It has received 11 medals so far. It took Golds in the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition, the Tasters Guild International Wine Competition and the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
GAN EDEN's 2000 Syrah is a massive wine, flavorful and balanced, with a "kick on it like a mule". Because it doesn't really exhibit its alcohol in the typical manner of hotness or solvent-like quality, one might be tempted to drink more than optimal. There's just so much flavor, the wine is just so seductive, that one might not be able to control himself. You can't go wrong drinking this as an accompaniment to red meats and game. However, if you like smoking cigars, you might also find a glass of this with your favorite cigars to be a highly rewarding experience.
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