Jeff’s Corner 9-21-17

Howdy and Hi,

Today we’ll take a gander at our stunning new 2015 Cabernet Syrah, but first a word about the 2017 harvest/crush season.  Jason and crew have been going at it like crazy for over two months now.   I don’t think they have had a day off in three plus weeks, and these have been some very long days.  I mentioned to Jason last week that they’ve been burning it at both ends, and he replied “Yeah, and the wick is getting pretty short.” 

The rewards, however will be great.  The fruit this year has been outstanding, both on our Estate and the High Plains.  (We now have over 200 acres of vines under contract in west Texas.)  Brian mentioned to me that it’s some of the highest quality Texas grapes we have ever seen.  Jason attributes it to the fact we contract a low yield per acre from our growers, thus concentrating the fruit.

We should finish crushing this week, and by then we’ll have processed about 600 tons of Texas fruit; the weight of about 100 male African elephants.  Wowser!

Now on to the ’15 Cabernet/Syrah blend, which vintage after vintage is one of my favorite GCV wines.  To me, the Cab/Syrah has always been the forgotten hero of our red portfolio; it doesn’t have the rock-star status of Bellissimo or Mosaic, yet consistently showcases Jason’s ability to create wines with incredible balance and refined delicacy.

We released the ’15 last Saturday and I tasted it pre-shift.  Holy guacamole, I could barely wait for a glass after work!  Austere and elegant, the new Cab/Syrah blend is 57.8% Cabernet Sauvignon and 42.2% Syrah with an ABV of 13.8%.  A bit more extracted than the ’14, the ’15 is a rich violet/purple with a touch of ruby in the rim.

Aromas are vibrant and complex.  It shows hints of red fruit (raspberry and dark cherry), with floral notes of lavender and lilac.  Adding to this, intricate layers of white and black pepper mingle with cedar and cocoa.  This wine exhibits a more dense, round mouthfeel than previous vintages.
The balance is near perfect  Acid and tannin are already well integrated, and the finish is long and seductive.  Moderate amounts of oak allow the intense fruit and spice to be fully showcased.  To me, this wine is a thoroughbred, waiting to run.

Let’s go classic French with a food pairing.  This wine begs for a steak au poivre with Pommes Anna.  Yumaroo!