2016 Haarmeyer Syrah, Mokelumne Glen
Region: Mokelumne River < El Dorado < CA
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming; alluvial sand soils. 50+ year-old vines: picked early, foot trodden, whole cluster fermentation, fermented outdoors with no additions in stainless steel before aging in 2 puncheons and 1 barrique (all used French) for 11 months; bottled unfined/unfiltered, zero added so2; 12.8% ABV; 99 cases
Winemaker: Craig Haarmeyer
This 100% whole-cluster fermented Syrah from Craig Haarmeyer comes from the Fields Family vineyard in Mokelumne River AVA, a low lying, delta-adjacent vineyard that has extreme diurnals (40-degree range between high and low temps) – important for freshness in a wine. And this wine is SO fresh, vibrant and alive, it may change your perception of Cali Syrah. I asked Craig about his secret sauce, and he says, “in California, we need to work against ripeness to make complex and age-worthy wines, by preserving natural acid and tannin, and keeping alcohol low.” A core of high-toned red fruit, mushrooms and twigs, with lots of life and a finish of ground gravel. Not your meaty Syrah, this is light, pretty and zippy. And not a whisper of funk, despite it being a zero-added so2 wine. Great with mushrooms!