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90 Points, Wine Enthusiast:
"Quite a fine Syrah. It’s ripe and almost sweet in jammy blackberries, cherries, chocolate, smoky oak and peppery spices, but is given depth and drama by the fine structure of tannins. Feels plush in the mouth. Could develop through 2012. S.H." (12/15/2009)
The beginning of the 2006 growing season was somewhat cool and wet prompting a decision to heavily thin most of our Syrah fruit to 1 cluster per shoot. Besides a heat-spiked June, the balance of the summer and fall delivered mild and mellow warm weather, allowing for even steady ripening of the small crop. This resulted in excellent concentration of dark berry flavors, ripe fleshy tannin, and deep dark pigment. 17 Months aging in 40% new French oak barrels rounded out the palate even further, while adding more texture, aroma, and flavor components. Expect to find wild blackberry, violets, blueberry, cocoa powder, anise, white pepper, exotic spice, chocolate fudge, and the Buoncristiani signatures of balance, depth on the mid palate, and a lengthy persistent finish.
To ensure our highest standard of quality, we source this Syrah from vineyards managed with our same strict viticultural philosophy. The ‘06 blend was handcrafted from small lots harvested exclusively from our block 1800 ft above sea level at Stagecoach Vineyards in the Vaca mountains above Oakville, and Larry Hyde’s vineyard in Oak Knoll. Sourcing and blending Syrah from these ultra premium vineyards helps us create our Artistico profile of uncompromising quality.
The Buoncristiani brothers created the series “Artistico” to fuse winemaking passion with other forms of art expression. Our Syrah label features original artwork to complement our blend for each vintage. The different vineyard and barrel components are blended in several phases creating optimum complexity while retaining balance, varietal character, and superior quality. This wine was aged in barrels for 17 months and bottled unfined and unfiltered in March of 2008.