ESTATE VINEYARD RELEASE
2015 ESTATE SYRAH
98+ pts, Jeb Dunnuck
The Estate Vineyard’s terroir produces a Syrah that deftly balances the yin-yang nature of the Northern Rhone’s noble red grape — a beguiling depth of fruit, with crystalline purity of flavor. Dense textures, balanced on an elegance of white flowers and Eucalyptus, brightening all corners. A contemplative wine, while also being an immense delight to enjoy. Our favorite wine experiences have often occurred at the expense of Syrah-based cuveés. It is these wines which provide the inspiration behind this bottling each vintage. I believe this is the greatest expression of Syrah Sonoma County has to offer, and have a hunch you will agree.
2016 ESTATE PINOT NOIR
Tending towards the darker side of Pinot Noir with brambly black and red fruits, clove and spruce tips. Each vintage, this wine presents density, darkness, elegance and lift, all in concert with one another. Textures are rounded out by rich spice notes of mocha, vanilla and cinnamon. In their 7th growing season, these vines delivered a new layer of intrigue, in the guise of an intense, highly floral tone, that affords this wine to absolutely SING like never before. A magnificent, ever-evolving expression of what Pinot Noir is capable of on the slopes of Sonoma Mountain, that will evolve in the cellar for years to come.
2016 ESTATE CHARDONNAY
As is its tradition, this wine remains drenched in flint and stone-fruits, while slathered in rich textures and vibrant acidity. As is the case with the Estate’s Pinot Noir bottling, the 2016 vintage asserted itself with a beautiful high tone that persists over this wine, lifting its every moment, and narrating a classic, top-flight California Chardonnay. Our Mersault-inspired winemaking approach is carried out to great effect, striking a stunning balance between intensity of fruit, and liveliness on the palate.
2016 “BASTARD TONGUE” PINOT NOIR
97 PTS, Jeb Dunnuck
There is no doubting BT’s breakout status. Vintage-to-vintage, a wine that delivers all the joy Sonoma County Pinot Noir is capable of. With its growth in notoriety, so too have expectations come to loom large. Putting together BT’s puzzle of barrels is the most fun, challenging and exciting part of our year. Please keep all those notes and messages coming, there is no better motivation to continue pushing the limits of what Bastard Tongue is capable of.
2016 “POSTED” SYRAH
View Vintage Notes
After a 3-vintage hiatus, I am thrilled to be back working with Steiner Vineyard’s Syrah. By its nature, this slow-to-ripen, cool-climate site produces fabulously deep, intense, structured wines. Now, raising a big, brawny Syrah is no rare act of alchemy. It is the wonder of Steiner’s terroir — a magical elegance and beauty, informing the inherent power, depth and intensity — that makes this bottling so special. 2016 produced a classic wine that deftly balances massive flavors and texture, while retaining vital freshness, and a palpable sense of cool. Production was low, so get it while you can. Simply a “WOW” wine, not to be missed.
2016 “STARSTRUCK” CABERNET SAUVIGNON
94 PTS, Jeb Dunnuck
A palate’s tour of Napa Valley’s myriad terroir — sunbaked ridgetops; forested hillsides; orange-soils; cooling, maritime winds; dense, fog-shrouded mornings. While 2016 keeps with the theme from previous vintages, new flourishes have been added to the mix — a warmer, up-valley vineyard, along with a dollop of Merlot — to up the ante. This cuvee opens to an alluring approach-ability, vibrance, and kiss of juiciness, by way of baked red pie-fruits. On a beam of blood orange accents, a powerfully precise delineation of intense dark fruits flushes out the palate. A singularly delicious and complex representation of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley, that begs to be devoured.
2016 “BORROWED JEWELS” CABERNET SAUVIGNON
SUGARLOAF VINEYARD, NAPA VALLEY
92 PTS, Jeb Dunnuck
Perched high atop Napa Valley’s southeastern corner, the aesthetics are simply breathtaking, but the magnificent terroir, is what has reinforced my bond with block 6 at Sugarloaf, since 2012. Facing northwest, on a furiously steep, rock-riddled hillside, the tenacity required for these vines to flourish defines 2016’s “Borrowed Jewels”. A deeply powerful wine, that has demanded my attention from word ‘go’. Black and red currants dominate an unctuous palate, while dense boysenberry rounds out the base. Eucalyptus notes persist around the edges, while notes of gingerbread, dark chocolate and espresso beans provide complexity. A hedonistic, ball of a Cabernet Sauvignon to accompany all moods.