Flavor profile: white pepper, black cherry, Bay leaf
Prominent critics have described our Syrah as reminiscent of the great wines of Hermitage. It exhibits great varietal character and combines a classic Rhone flavor profile with the richness of California. This wine remains a reference point for New World Syrah.
The 2017 Flanagan Syrah from Bennett Valley has the characteristic savory bouquet we get year after year. It opens with notes of cinnamon, coriander, and bay leaf. The palate has pomegranate, sage, and a remarkable savory note. As always the wine has a surprising amount of tannin structure for Syrah from the New World.
The site for our Syrah in Bennett Valley produces ripe, generous, complex fruit and retains great acids. The small berries produced from the steep, volcanic hillside site gives the wine great color and concentration. This is a wine that can stand proudly with top Syrah from around the world!
The 2017 Flanagan Syrah is our 12th vintage of this incredible wine. This site has unfailingly produced great Syrah in every different type of vintage and this 2017 vintage release is no exception. The grapes are sourced from Bennett Valley and grown on the steep hillsides of Bennett Mountain.
The 2017 vintage brought some challenges - with near record winter rains, late spring storms, a heat spike in late August, and then the historic October wildfires. In 2017 crop set was generally better than 2015 and 2016. The severe heat spike in late August resulted in some damage to grapes but thick skinned varieties like Syrah are much less affected. This was especially true in cooler areas like Bennett Valley. People always believe that a heat spike results in grapes that are riper. In fact, a heat spike like that of 2017 will shut down the vines completely. Brix levels initially spiked due to desiccation but once things cooled down and the vines had a chance to recover, Brix levels dropped back to where they were prior to the heatwave. In many vineyards we ended up harvesting at lower Brix levels than in 2016. Fortunately, with the vines able to move along in ripening we had finished picking all of our fruit and wrapped up harvest just days before the wildfires of October.