2009 Eberle Syrah Steinbeck Vineyard

Year: 2009
Appellation: Paso Robles
Country: USA-California
Wine Spectator: 88
Wine Advocate: 87
Vinous Media: 88
Connoisseurs' Guide: 87
Red Wine
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"Pleasantly rustic and vibrant, with loamy earth, dried herb and dried berry flavors that show hints of cedar and tobacco. Full-bodied and pleasing in its muscular manner. Best from 2013 through 2022. 1,169 cases made." (WS)

"The 2009 Syrah Steinbeck Vineyard is a big, chewy wine bursting with dark fruit, tobacco, earthiness and leather. This hearty, rustic red is best suited for the dinner table. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2013." (WA)

"Deep, bright ruby. Fresh raspberry and cherry aromas are complicated by cracked pepper and floral notes. Bright, energetic and juicy, offeringclean red fruit flavors, gentle acidity and easy tannins. No excess fat in evidence. Finishes nervy and slightly tart-edged, with the cherry and pepper notes repeating." (IWC)

"Here is a gutsy, young, moderately full-bodied Syrah for those who fancy the varietal's gamier, slightly spicier side, and, if no paradigm of refinement, it is nicely balanced, not overly tannic and sports a spot of brightness that bodes well for a few years of likely improvement. Reviewed: July 2011" (CG)

Winery Notes:
Syrah was not yet widely available in the U.S. during the early 1970’s, with U.C. Davis having the only source in their “motherblock.” Noting that the true French Syrah cuttings produced remarkable wines in Australia, Eberle decided to introduce the world of Rhône to California winemaking. By securing the U.C. Davis budwood that was originally obtained from Chapoutier’s plantings in Tain Hermitage, Eberle introduced the clone of Syrah to California in 1975 when he planted twenty acres and in 1978 was the first winemaker to produce a 100% Syrah wine.

A cold, dry winter led to a normal bud-break in March, with bloom and fruit set following shortly thereafter. During the summer, tight clusters formed with small and even berry size. Canopy development was ample, protecting the clusters from sunburn throughout the summer season. A heat spike in early September brought the fruit into perfect ripeness, readying the clusters for harvest. The 2009 vintage is the result of a stellar growing and ripening season. These wines are remarkably well-balanced, displaying concentrated fruit, intense flavor profiles and vivid color extraction. One of the best vintages from the Paso Robles Appellation yet!

The fruit was crushed, de-stemmed then transferred to stainless steel tanks for primary fermentation and pumped over twice a day. After fermentation, half of the wine was transferred to American oak barrels and the other half to French oak barrels (12% new oak on both). After eighteen months of aging in the caves, the wine was transferred to stainless steel tanks and then bottled.

The 2009 vintage shows the restraint of an “Old World” style Syrah, earthy and spicy, combined with “New World” fruit characteristics. This full bodied wine has firm upfront tannins with aromas of blueberry and baking spices. The palate is filled with rich dark blackberry fruit, hints of smoky oak, black pepper and coffee..