2017 Purity 'Quench' Syrah Oakstone Vineyard
Region: Nevada County < California
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming; granite soil, foot trod, aged in neutral barrel; unfined/unfiltered with zero added SO2; 11.8% ABV
Winemaker: Noel Diaz
Purity Wines is the project of Noel Diaz, whose background is in the restaurant business. After nearly 20 years working in both front and back of house, he gravitated towards the wine side and eventually became the wine buyer at the restaurant where he worked. Through connections from friends he explored all sides of the wine industry and eventually settled on winemaking, which is great for us drinkers, as he is one of the most dedicated hands-off and gifted winemakers (not to mention nice) we know. Noel is an urban winemaker who makes just 2000 cases annually, total, for 9+ different cuvees. Like most natural California winemakers, he doesn’t own vineyards but buys fruit from growers who work organically and with thought and consideration, and also manages the farming himself on a few leased vineyards.
This Syrah, from the Oakstone vineyard high in the Sierra Foothills, is energetic, thanks to the granitic geology, but elegant with bright red fruit, a meaty, earthy nose, and supple tannins. 2017 is a true product of the season, with vines shutting down due to a long heat spike before harvest, leaving high acid and low alcohol. Which makes this Syrah exactly the kind of bright, chillable juicy warm weather wine we crave, with dark fruit, fennel and a tart grapefruit edge.