The 2011 Syrah harvest was not without its challenges: late spring rain, mid-summer rain, early fall rain, low yields, moderate grape sugars and a compact six day harvest – all very un-Californian! The fruit required Herculean sorting in the vineyard and then gentle extraction in the cellar. Yet despite all this, with some patience, something of beauty can emerge if you allow the wine to follow its own time line, don’t impose too much ‘technique’, and most importantly, trust your vineyards. Our 2011 RRV Syrah is a mediumbodied, elegant bottling that offers something different each time you return to the glass. It’s a wonderfully harmonious and integrated wine – the varying fruit, barrel and structural components are all on the same delicious wavelength. It features a great deal of ‘non-fruit complexity’ as it’s the savory components that lead the way: mixed peppercorns, wild herbs, spring flowers and bay leaf. It reminds me most closely of our 2005 RRV bottling, which has matured into a refined beauty and there’s no reason to suspect this wine won’t follow a similar track. I particularly like the ripe, plush – almost ‘pillowy’ – tannins that envelop the finish."