2009 Shamhat Rosé of Syrah
Place and vine:
The Syrah for our 2008 Shamhat, of the Temple of Ishtar from the Epic of Gilgamesh, is sourced from the Odyssey (all whole cluster) and Kick Ranch vineyards (saigne’e). We added a good measure of Fazekas Sangiovese (whole cluster) as well. We alternate between blending Pinot Noir and Sangiovese from year to year and the Sangio was fantastic. The cooler climate Syrahs with their spicy fruit combine with the strawberry components of the Sangiovese to produce a sensational rosé.
What we did:
We like the complexity that we experience by obtaining our juice for fermentation from both saignée (the bleeding of juice off the skins from a tank) and whole-cluster pressing. The rosé is barrel fermented to dryness, and after the fermentation is complete we rack off the gross lees, leaving only the fine, yeast lees. The barrels are stirred twice weekly until January. After seven months in the barrel, we bottled this special wine, and it is ready to be enjoyed immediately.
What we think:
A beautiful salmon colored, Tavel style rosé that expresses a complex nose and flavor of white meat melon, strawberry and ruby red grapefruit, earth, and vanilla pudding at its core (crème brule’e if you prefer). This year’s Shamhat also exhibits a slight black olive component from the Syrah that has not been present in previous wines. Though there is no residual sugar, the texture is sweet and creamy. The balanced acid contributes to make a wine that is well suited for many foods. Don’t drink too cold!
Harvest: Oct. 1 – Oct. 25, 2009
Brix: 25.5° - 26.5°
Clones: 877, 470, 174, Sangio Old Clone
Cooperage: Neutral French Oak
Bottled: March 5, 2010