The 2013 vintage was the driest calendar year on record. A warm, windy spring set the growing season creating restricted vine canopies and ultimately intense flavors in the fruit. Moderate temperatures continued throughout the growing season with only the slightest heat spike right at harvest. The clusters were full with small berries. Less than 1.8 tons per acre were harvested from Kamen Estate and because of cooperating weather, we were able to let the fruit hang for uniform ripeness and a layered flavor profile.
Our Syrah is grown on three distinct one-acre blocks. These blocks are planted to four clones, yielding less than 1.8 tons to the acre. They are blended to produce a distinct flavor profile offering the unique expression of Kamen Estate terroir. The wines were aged in 50% new, select French oak barrels for 16 months.
The 2013 Kamen Syrah was born from grapes harvested at optimal ripeness, de-stemmed and co-fermented with Viognier skins and sun-dried Syrah stems. We believe this proprietary practice adds both aromatic and textural layers.
The result is an inky, glass-staining powerhouse. Unbelievably fragrant with ultra-pure aromas of baked blackberries, boysenberries, candied rhubarb, tree bark, wildflowers, black cardamom, crushed rocks and candied bacon. The palate is lush, sweet and unctuous. Notes of black plums, sweet black licorice and mountain berries round out the savory undertones. The palate is hugely concentrated and complimented by abundant yet very fine, well-integrated tannins. While extraction and plushness are in the forefront, this wine embraces an overall spirit of seamlessness and length. The 2013 Kamen Syrah will drink beautifully now and will continue to evolve wonderfully over the next 20 years or more.
“A great wine, and a knockout effort, is the Côte Rôtie-like 2013 Syrah. This is 100% Syrah, but I would have sworn some Viognier had been co-fermented, given its floral aromatics . . . This is a stunner, opulent and full-bodied, with bloody, meaty notes that beg for a grilled steak. Drink it over the next decade. 95 pts.”
—Robert M. Parker, Jr., eRobertParker.com #221, October 2015