2015 Odyssey Syrah
91+ pts The Wine Advocate
Cool climate Syrah from Russian River Valley. Black cherry, Asian spice, almond, and ancho chile pepper with rich tannins and a long finish.
Russian River Valley
September 24, 2015
18 months French Oak, 15% new
May 9, 2017
We prefer to produce a Syrah grown in cooler climates which tend to make more complex and balanced wines, and with flavor and aromas that sometimes remind us of the Rhone. With the 2015 Odyssey you are initially hit with a dollop of spearmint, blackberry liqueur, bittersweet chocolate, licorice, and a hint of beef blood or iron. The flavors are equally complex with black cherry, Asian spice, almond, and ancho chile pepper. The tannins are mouth coating and rich, and with a fleshy texture that is synonymous with Syrah.
The Russian River Valley is home to many world-class vineyards, and Odyssey is blessed by its position in this fantastic appellation. The three acre vineyard is tended by the passionate viticulturist, Margaret Chastain, who tends to clones 877, 174 and Estrella that contribute to produce Enkidu’s most complex wine. Syrah in the cool climate of RRV produces more complex and balanced wines than elsewhere, and coupled with multiple clones and solid organic vineyard practices, the Odyssey vineyard produces compelling wines.
With the Odyssey, we employed a 25% whole-cluster addition to the fermentation. The stems contribute a spice component along with adding structure. Additionally, we conducted a 15% saigne’e for greater concentration and depth. The 2015 Odyssey underwent a native yeast fermentation after a four-day ambient soak. We pump over once daily before fermentation begins, and then punch down twice daily during fermentation. Over the years I have reduced the amount of new French oak to <20%. The result is a wine that is not in conflict with the oak, but is integrated, showcasing the complex fruit. In barrel for 16 – 18 months, the wine was then bottled with minimal course filtration.