The 2012 Obsidian Vineyard Syrah harvest is here! As we recently articulated would you believe tasting verticals, the same wine over several vintages, helps you make better wine? At Donelan we believe the best wines are not made but discovered. We work with 14 different vineyards, make 4 single vineyard Syrahs (and maybe a Pinot soon!), and it is imperative to understand those vineyards.
So how do we do this? Many ways, but one is to occasionally revisit the wine’s history. Tasting verticals help a winemaker think about the “big picture” prior to harvest which can be applied to the vintage standing on our doorstep: 2012.
Below are notes for the Obsidian Vineyard Syrah, 2006 through 2010. Obsidian is a warm, rocky vineyard located in Knight’s Valley of Sonoma County. Read more here.
2006: A wine loaded with dark fruit character initially masked with notes of roast game and - of all things - graham cracker. Then violet and cinnammon begin to mix with intense fruit. The mouth feel was brighter than the nose leads one to think it will be, has excellent structure, and plenty of life. Big and bold, but go ahead and enjoy now!
2007: Ever been in a warm, dry, rocky area that experiences a quick rain before the sun returns to warm that moisture? That smell, that “mineral” rocky smell wafts from the glass along with violets and general Syrah funk. The texture had better balance than the ’06, almost silky but still structured, with an excellent finish. Hold or enjoy.
2008: The floral elements of Syrah seem more apparent in this vintage, along with hints of mineral character and dark fruit such as cassis or plum reduction. The texture is soft, velvty, and almost chewy but not in a tiring way. Very sexy, and surprisingly available for a young Obsidian.
2009: The warm, wet stones are back on this wine along with fresh tobacco, chocolate covered cherries, and aromas associated with roast…fill in the blank. While young, this mouth feel may have been the class of the flight: at once fresh and tannic, balanced but big, clean but not lean, and great example of how paradox in wine suggests high quality. Hold if you can!
2010: Only recently bottled, this wine tastes quite young compared to the rest offering very primary floral notes of freesia and violets with a touch of Obisidan “stoniess” mentioned above. The mouth feel suggests a superb amount of stuffing and structure to come and I anticipate this being similar to the 2009 with a bit more je ne sais quoi.