The 2016 Syrah SUBIR (meaning to rise or go up) is a single-vineyard wine—a barrel selection from the Eleven Confessions estate vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills. "This vineyard is by far our coolest," Manfred said. "Sometimes we don’t harvest this vineyard until November. The wines from here have a lot of structure and presence. The soil is a heavy clay, so the wines can be pretty muscular." I asked Manfred what he considers when he is looking to make a single-vineyard expression. "I pick out the wines that can have longer barrel aging," he replied. "The wine has to be meaningfully dense and balanced. I try to make the selection early on, when the wines go into barrel, to decide which barrels they will go into. I take thicker barrels from Seguin Moreau so that the wine evolves longer and slower." A blend of 89.7% Syrah, 4.6% Grenache, 2.5% Petite Sirah and 3.2% Viognier, this wine was made using 44% whole cluster. It was then reared for 38 months in barrel. Eighty-two percent of the wine was aged in new, French oak, while the remainder was aged in used barrels (one to five years old). Very deep purple-black, it comes bounding out of the glass with precociously profound notes of baked blackberries, plum preserves, blueberry pie, tilled earth and lilacs plus tobacco leaf, wild sage, truffles and espresso nuances. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is tautly structured, strutting a firm backbone of rounded tannins and fantastic freshness supporting the muscular, tightly wrapped layers, finishing with epic length and loads of minerally fireworks. Wine Advocate 99 points
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