David Ramey’s Rodgers Creek Syrah is sourced from a plot at 800′ elevation on Sonoma Mountain; it is now part of the Petaluma Gap AVA. Soils are old volcanic. The vineyard was planted in 2002 to Ramey’s specifications and includes both Syrah and Viognier, which he co-ferments for this cuvée.
I’d previously written about the 2013 vintage of this wine, but after I received a duplicate sample bottle by mistake, I had the chance to taste it with another year of evolution (lucky me). The blend is 90 percent Syrah and 10 percent Viognier, and about one-quarter of the Syrah was fermented whole-cluster. Yeast and malolactic fermentations were spontaneous, and the wine aged sur lie with monthly bâtonnage for two years in new French oak barrels. It was bottled unfiltered.
The color is rubescent, moderately opaque, and radiates a rich aromatic mélange of bacon fat, black olives, cured meats, cherry, and apricot. The wine is silken with a flare of acidity and baking spice, with an expansive, savory mid-palate: rare and cured meats, smoked fat, pomegranate, black cherry, black olives.
Ramey’s 2013 Rodgers Creek Syrah is only just beginning to show us what well-made Sonoma Coast Syrah can do, and is age-worthy for many more years. Pair it now with roasts, game, duck, charcuterie.
2013 Ramey Syrah Rodgers Creek Sonoma Coast
14.5% abv | $75 on release (sample) 380 cases made