At the 2014 Rhone Rangers event back in March, I had the opportunity to have a little taste of this, as-of-yet un-released, Syrah. One of the best things about tasting William’s wines in the context of the big Rhone Rangers tasting is that they are usually such a distinctly different style from the other wines at the tasting. They stand apart because of their acidity and their lack of oak. They are refreshing wines with fresh fruit and savory character and an old world style that gives the wines a character and complexity often lacking in other Rhone varieties grown in California.
I got a chance the other day to sit down with a bottle of the 2012 Saralee’s Vineyard Syrah and revisit it. The wine had rounded a bit with some more time in bottle and it was drinking well, especially after some air.
The wine: There’s minerality here that one doesn’t often get from California Syrah, floral aromas, black cherry, a touch of cola. But also noticeable for what is missing, no vanilla, no oak, just pure fruit and savory elements that good Syrah should have. The mid-palate is full with a refreshing lifted quality and lots of mouthwatering acidity on the finish. Not too tannic. Just a beautiful, true and transparent version of Syrah.
If you get a chance to check out William’s wines I would highly recommend it. You can check in on his past vintage (with fancy photos too!) of Syrah that I’ve written about here. I still have a 2011 that I’ll write about again in a few years to see how it’s aged. I have a hunch that the acidity in that vintage and the 2012 will make them wines that can age for a very long time.