Thursday, August 30, 2012
2011 Colossus of Rhones Syrah
Well, here it is, though it's going to be a little bottle shocked for a few weeks. I've mentioned the yield-lowering spring frost we had last year a few times before, and the blocks of Syrah 877 at Gill Vineyard were no exception - from two tons per acre (roughly, two bottles per vine) in 2010 we dropped to one ton/acre aka bottle/vine. This is extraordinarily low for healthy vines, even on mountain soils - and the global average yield for Syrah/Shiraz is probably ten times that, if you didn't already guess why Yellow Tail is so cheap.
Alcohol is down a little, at 16.5%, but there were rains approaching so we picked roughly a week earlier. Unlike the 2010, which was rather dumb and closed from the end of fermentation until the following spring, this wine has been a dense raspberry bomb with full mouthfeel and a very long finish from the very beginning. The reassurance of a couple of young hotshots I won't name pushed me to follow my instincts and bottle early. One new French barrel, one once-used French barrel, and a keg - that's all I got. $60 retail, but while it lasts, I can probably make a deal for friends, family, fans and stalkers; you know how to find me.