2005 Windsor Oaks Summit Syrah
Simply stated, the 2005 Windsor Oaks Summit Syrah is bold and beautiful. It’s appearance is stunning with a deep red-blue hue and lovely long legs. The nose is intense with aromas of orange blossom, cranberry, cocoa and leather. On the palate, flavors of black cherry, plum, cranberry and walnut intermingle with a touch of earthiness. This wine has a perfect balance of fruit, structure and acidity and, at five years of age at release, is ready to make its debut.
91 pts, Wine Enthusiast
89 pts, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Smoky blackberry and sassafras aromas are complemented by black pepper, anise and dried flowers. Finishes spicy and seductively sweet, leaving dark berry skin, pepper and licorice notes behind."
Russian River Valley
Windsor Oaks Summit
October 15, 2005
Barrel aging: American oak, 25% new for 27 months
February 12, 2008
The summit of Windsor Oaks Vineyards provides unobstructed views, intense sunshine and lean growing conditions typical of “mountain fruit”. Planted for Russian Hill in 1997, the vineyard was field budded to the Estrella River Valley clone of Syrah after two seasons, in the fall of 1998. Atypical of their variety, these vines are slow growing, remaining small in stature but producing fruit intense in color and flavor.
The 2005 growing season began late, after a somewhat prolonged winter, and was remarkable for unseasonably cool, foggy weather through much of the season. The month of May was the wettest in recorded history and rain even persisted into June. Crop set was variable depending on local weather conditions at the time of bloom. There was seemingly no summer with only two minor “warm” spells, one each in July and August.
After sorting, the grapes were destemmed into tanks for immediate fermentation. A combination of tanks were used - small, open top tanks to enhance aromatics and produce a wine with a softer palate and larger closed tanks for better color and structure development. Thrice daily pneumatic punch downs and pump overs took place throughout fermentation. Once dry, the wine was gently pressed in a membrane press keeping free run and press fractions separate. Malolactic fermentation took place in oak barrels.
Food Pairing Notes
The big structure of this wine makes it a perfect accompaniment to meat dishes such as steak, beef or lamb roasts and ragouts. The beautiful fruit profile also makes it a good accompiant to flavorful cheeses such as blues and Roqueforts, especially if served with dried fruits.