Without any sulfites used there’s a different sense of juicy texture and openness. The flavor impact is creamy and pliant with powdery fine tannins. Plush purply waves of cassis and mulberry are chased by fresh raspberry and a smoky crackle of peppery herbs.
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2018 Sans Soufre Ajouté – Syrah 50% Grenache 50%
John Sebastiano Vineyard, Santa Barbara County
Sans Soufre Ajouté—”without sulfur added”—is a project that started for us back in 2011, after Adam was inspired by a lively and supple SO2-free blend that a protégé had crafted. It became a technical challenge that we’ve continued to make for the love of drinking it. With this 2018 bottling we’ve produced our most luminous example of natural minded winemaking that culminates in a delicious and blemish-free beverage.
This wine is comprised of equal parts Grenache and Syrah, both grown on steep southwest facing slopes at John Sebastiano Vineyard. This site features densely-planted rows on what’s kind of a peak rising from the eastern outskirts of Sta Rita Hills. The relative elevation makes for a fierce raking by cold Pacific winds, so the fruit ripens late and is consistently intriguing with spicy and savory earth notes, and the tannins are consistently powdery fine.
Without sulfites used at any stage this wine offers a wholly different sense of juicy texture and openness. Flavors roll forward with the ease of a long unfurling rug. The flavor impact is powerful but creamy, rounded, and it paves the way for plush purply waves of cassis and mulberry, then a smoky crackle of pepper, roasted herbs and allspice. Typically we’ve seen the Grenache and Syrah grappling for dominance in their first year in bottle, but in this 2018 they’ve strutted lock step for months now.
If you drink this by itself as a cocktail wine you’re not doing anything wrong. It’s barbless, easy-going and complex all at once. However, the power of fruit, moderate alcohol and near absence of tannin makes for a great drink alongside fiery al pastor or well smoked brisket.
|Dimensions||12 × 3 × 9 in|