Waxwing Wine Cellars is a little winery here on the Peninsula. I’ve written about them a few times and I’ve also been helping out at the winery a bit over the last few years. Obviously there’s a possible conflict of interest here but I assure you I wouldn’t write about these wines if they weren’t some of the most delicious and well made examples of the varieties that I’ve tasted. And I’m not alone in thinking this, Waxwing and its winemaker Scott Sisemore has gotten some good press for a small winery. Here’s a couple of reviews from Jon Bonne, ex-wine writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. http://www.sfgate.com/wine/thirst/article/Is-pink-the-new-white-A-complicated-new-era-for-5501693.php and http://www.sfgate.com/food/article/Sonoma-Coast-is-a-sweet-spot-for-Syrah-3464992.php The latter is one of my favorites as it highlights the Sonoma Coast which really has become a sweet spot for Syrah in California.
Scott’s Flocchini Syrah is the first one that he ever made for his own winery. It’s peppery, menthol, earthy on the nose and all couched in blackberry and plum. This wine has all the aromas that make cool-climate Syrah different than your run-of-the-mill California Syrah or for that matter Cabernet or ripe pinot. On the palate the wine is full and finishes with a nice tannic punch that makes it beg for meat or rich cheese. I love this wine and it’s one of the first wines that Scott made that really piqued my interest.
The Flocchini vineyard is run by ex-dairy farmers Andrew and Patty Flocchini. It’s situated in the Petaluma gap right next to the famed Griffin’s Lair Syrah vineyard. Most of the Syrah there consists of the Noir clone which in Scott’s experience produces a rather tannic Syrah with lots of potential for aging. The wines are usually almost too-tannic on release but with a little time in bottle and a little air upon opening they are quite delicious.
Scott has made his latest two vintages with 100% whole cluster which gives the wines a level of complexity that really accents the cool-climate Syrah character. The wines see all neutral oak and are foot stomped and remain un-filtered and un-fined.