Mauritson Syrah Madrone Spring Vineyard 2008
Our family’s Rockpile Ridge Vineyards are located at nearly 1,200 ft elevation in the Rockpile appellation. The Syrah is planted in the Madrone Spring block which is named after a year round spring that flows out of the roots of an old Madrone tree. This block receives minimal sun due to its eastern exposure. It is the last block harvested year in and year out and it shows in the complexity of flavor. We envisioned this site yielding a Northern Rhone style of Syrah and we have not been disappointed.
Dark purple color almost matches dark brooding, earthy nose. Subtle blackberry flavor on the tongue. Then a saline sensation. Flavor of cedar on the back of the tongue/palate. Firm, not overwhelming tannin and acid. Probably ageable for the next decade.
Nice, medium-strength, highly drinkable wine. Blackberry and plum flavors on entry. Something of a “dusty” sensation, but nothing annoying. I guess I could describe it as “earthiness,” but that isn’t quite it. In fact, it prevents the fruit from tasting syrupy. Nice acid tartness. Quite sedate tannin. No harm in holding this one, but I am happy to drink it, today.
Inky dark in the glass. "Rustic" outdoorsy, "barnyard" aromas. Winner, winner on the palate. Not terribly fruited. Some spiciness (hint of clove), "dusty" flavors. Pretty tannic--good amount of puckeriness. Good acid. US$31.20 at the winery in Healdsbufg.
Initial tartness on the tip of the tongue surprises me a bit. That diminishes quickly, and is followed by a somewhat gamey sensation. Another surprise is sweetness that pops up towards the back of the tongue/palate. Fairly full-bodied, but not monstrous by any calculation. Nice because it does not blow you away with berry or cherry flavors.
Food Pairings for Mauritson Syrah Madrone Spring Vineyard
In general, the 2008 vintage was cooler than the previous one. The Madrone Spring block, with its eastern sun exposure, survived the heat spell that we had in mid September, and as a result, we got an extra 3-4 weeks of hang time. The 2008 Syrah reminds me very much of the 2006: bright, vibrant, and complex. The nose is a mixture of a wild blueberry patch, a stroll through the lavender fields of Provence, and the rich mustiness of fresh cut prime beef. Restrained, yet focused on the palate, our Syrah is a proud relative of the elegant wines of the Northern Rhone region. The tannins are full without being overwhelming, the acid is perfectly balanced, and between every swish and swirl a seemingly endless array of flavors presents itself. It is the subtle nuances that amaze you about this wine. The finish is graceful and powerful, while at the same time, giving you insight as to how the wine will age for the next 5-7 years.
227 cases produced.
Aged 15 months in French Oak.