Region: California, United States
Appellation: Ballard Canyon
Color/Style: Red Wine
We have become less and less extractive in our red wine fermentations. As we grew more confident in the natural concentration of our arid, undiluted terroir, we transitioned punching down the floating skin caps of our open-top fermenters from 3 times a day, to as little as 3 times in an entire 3 week native fermentation. Our Syrahs remained dark and rich, yet the profile showed even more nuance with delicate prettiness joining the wines’ bold core.
Our journey to reduce extraction eventually led us to try whole-grape fermentation (no extraction at all) with the first Carbonic Sangiovese cuvee bottled from the 2013 vintage. After falling in love with the lighter bodied Carbonic Sangiovese, we chose to experiment with the carbonic fermentation of Syrah. Because we wouldn’t extract any tannin, we could pick the Syrah earlier, with the grape skin still crunchy. We borrowed the Cote Rotie (Roasted Slope) trick of co-fermenting a dollop of earlier ripening Viognier for floral aromatics and more weight bonded with the bright mid-palate fruit.
Crunchy Roastie has become a seriously delicious Featherweight version relative to Stolpman’s classic Middleweight and Heavyweight macerated Syrah cuvees. By taking such a delicate touch to the intensity of Santa Barbara County, we can deliver a Syrah in the same weight class as our favorite Northern Rhone wineries.
Cold and windy conditions in the spring, combined with a second consecutive year of drought, led to a small crop with bursting flavor concentration. We forecasted a late harvest until a Labor Day heat wave sped ripening up across the board. Syrah vines destined for Crunchy Roastie recovered from the heatwave and resumed back to evenly ripening prior to harvest beginning in late September.
In the glass, black with glimmering red sparks. On the nose, a swirling fruit punch vortex with layered olive and black fruit in every twist and turn. In the mouth, a marriage of pop and depth like your favorite “guilty pleasure” album. The captivating line of Sangre Citrus Stone energy carries the day with a deeper ripe plum flesh and juiciness within. This benchmark edition of Crunchy Roastie mounts the podium with both gold and silver – flaunting both freshness and depth in a perfect one-two punch.