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Thompson Syrah 2005

Winemaker's Notes:

2005 SYRAH THOMPSON Santa Barbara County Traditionally our most burly syrah, Thompson is the slowest of our wines to evolve. Since 2002, we have added a bit of grenache and/or mourvedre to add to the complexity of flavors and to make this wine a little less monolithic. The results have not been dramatic, as the wine is still a monster, but it is now friendlier in its youth. In 2005 we took another step towards better balance and began fermenting the Thompson in a different way. We are attempting to extract more of the flavors from the grape skins earlier in the fermentation. As a result, we are now mixing the grapes (punching down) more frequently prior to and at the start of fermentation, and doing less after the midpoint. The theory is that, as the wine ferments and gains in alcohol, that alcohol extracts harsh tannins from the grape skins, so extracting the flavors early gives more fruitiness and less bite. I have a customer who was quite concerned that these changes would transform the hearty wine that Thompson is into something meek. Quite the contrary, this wine is mouth-coating and dense, showing beautiful aromatic purity. While it is enticing today, ideally this syrah should be cellared for another 7-10 years, allowing all its potential to be realized.

Region: USA » California » Santa Barbara

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Color: Red
Varietal: Syrah
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The Ojai Vineyard:
The Ojai Vineyard, owned by Adam & Helen Tolmach, works closely with a dozen different vineyards on the Central Coast of California and produces wines from syrah, grenache, mourvedre, pinot noir, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and viognier. About 6000 cases are produced each year, divided between 15 bottlings, most of which are vineyard designated wines. The key to producing special wine is in ... Read more
The Ojai Vineyard, owned by Adam & Helen Tolmach, works closely with a dozen different vineyards on the Central Coast of California and produces wines from syrah, grenache, mourvedre, pinot noir, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and viognier. About 6000 cases are produced each year, divided between 15 bottlings, most of which are vineyard designated wines. The key to producing special wine is in the care taken growing the grapes. There is an inverse relationship between quantity and quality when it comes to grapes, so rather than purchasing ours by the ton, we have long term agreements with our growers to buy the fruit by the acre. This lets us culture the vines and thin the crop to our strict specifications, yet allows the grower to receive a fair return. In the winery we like to watch the development of the wine carefully, yet prefer to do as little as possible. Experience has shown us that the least amount of moving, pumping, fining and filtering is always best. The ultimate objective is to show off the distinctive character of a vineyard site. Read less

2005 SYRAH THOMPSON Santa Barbara County Traditionally our most burly syrah, Thompson is the slowest of our wines to evolve. Since 2002, we have added a bit of grenache and/or mourvedre to add to the complexity of flavors and to make this wine a little less monolithic. The results have not been dramatic, as the wine is still a monster, but it is now friendlier in its youth. In 2005 we took another step towards better balance and began fermenting the Thompson in a different way. We are attempting to extract more of the flavors from the grape skins earlier in the fermentation. As a result, we are now mixing the grapes (punching down) more frequently prior to and at the start of fermentation, and doing less after the midpoint. The theory is that, as the wine ferments and gains in alcohol, that alcohol extracts harsh tannins from the grape skins, so extracting the flavors early gives more fruitiness and less bite. I have a customer who was quite concerned that these changes would transform the hearty wine that Thompson is into something meek. Quite the contrary, this wine is mouth-coating and dense, showing beautiful aromatic purity. While it is enticing today, ideally this syrah should be cellared for another 7-10 years, allowing all its potential to be realized.

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