2016 My Father's Syrah
91 Points - Wine Enthusiast
Multi-generations and a love of the land are at the center of everything we do at Dutton Estate. This vineyard designated Syrah is a perfect example. The vineyard was originally Tracy Dutton’s father’s property. It is now managed and farmed by Joe Dutton, his son-in-law. This wine is a brilliant dark red color with lavender edges that dance in the glass. The floral aromas are explosive! Rose petals seem to jump from the glass; along with raspberry, blueberry, black pepper and Allspice. There is a black pepper and mineral thread from start to finish. The Syrah is packed with bright jam notes of blackberry, raspberry and cherry. The rich flavors of berries and cola-fruit follow to the end. This is a big yet pretty Syrah with nicely integrated mixed American oak that provides a long, textured, pepper spiced finish.
After harvested by hand at night. The fruit was gently hand-sorted, destemmed, and then cold soaked at the winery. Primary fermentation takes place in small, open top tanks and manually punched down no more than four times per day. After fermentation, the wine is pressed and racked into American oak barrels to age. We use American oak for this limited production offering as we feel that the grapes from this vineyard when resting in barrel meld nicely with the characteristics that are more present in American oak. Upon completion of secondary fermentation, each barrel is tasted and selected to make the final blend. Those eight barrels rest for 10 months before bottling. The structure and balance of this bodes well for cellaring - if you can resist drinking it now!
Named in honor of Tracy Dutton’s father, the vineyard was planted in 2002 with the Syrah Noir Clone in the Santa Rosa Plains in Huichica Loam soil. This vineyard, one of the more than 80 that Dutton Ranch farms, is located in a low-lying elevation site with rolling hills and is the home of Tracy’s parents, Paul and Carol. Because of the topography, it is one of the last vineyard sites to burn off morning fog and receive sun. The soil there is perfect for Syrah with moderate drainage and an average depth of 25-40 inches plus a base of old valley alluvium from mixed sedimentary, volcanic ash, and rock sources.