The 2011 growing season at Kamen Estate vineyards was marked by even, cool temperatures with only one heat spike over the July 4th holiday. Because of the cool Spring, we experienced a later than usual bud break. A vigorous canopy required constant manipulation to ensure the dappled sunlight, which is instrumental in producing mature, ripe fruit. The long, cool season provided ample hang time resulting in soft, yet firm tannins, great aromatics and abundantly fresh acidity. The harvest delivered ripe, voluptuous and structured fruit. Our Syrah is grown on three distinct one acre blocks: High Block, at 1400 ft. in elevation with south-southeast exposures, Middle Block at 1200 ft. with due south exposures and Low Block at 1100 ft. facing northwest. These blocks are planted to four clones, yielding 1.5 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.
An exuberance of black and purple fruit explodes from the glass showing ripe plum, blackberry, boysenberry and blueberry pie. Adding further dimension are notes of smoked meats, roasted nuts, wet stone and tobacco. The inclusion of Viognier skins shines through with hints of jasmine, glazed orange, citrus blossom, stone fruit and violets. The palate is lush and seamless offering flavors of bright raspberry and ripe cherry, framed by very fine and well-integrated tannins. These concentrated flavors lead to a finish that leaves you wanting another sip.
“It would be great to see more Syrah planted on the property, because the 2011 Syrah is a stunner. Bright, chiseled and intensely saline, the 2011 shows tons of energy and drive to match its many layers of expressive, perfumed fruit. The 2011 is naturally compact, in the style of the year, but it is nevertheless super-impressive. Drinking window: 2014–2024” —Antonio Galloni, July 2013