2011 Garys' Vineyard Syrah

Garys' Vineyard is arguably the most famous property in the Santa Lucia Highlands; Pinot Noir fruit from here is sought-after by many of the finest wineries in the world for their most limited releases. Garys' is a partnership between Gary Pisoni and Gary Franscioni, two of the Highlands most dynamic growers. Originally planted in 1997, Gary's has eight acres of Estrella clone Syrah. The property's close proximity to Monterey Bay makes for a very cool climate, with one of California's longest growing seasons. The resulting slow, gentle ripening allows for full flavor development on the vine and a very northern Rhone / Hermitage style of Syrah. One acre of Syrah at Garys is allocated annually to Testarossa.

This 2011 release marks the thirteenth vintage in Testarossa's close relationship with this famous vineyard. Thanks to our long track record, winemaker Bill Brosseau is allowed substantial input on the viticultural processes on the blocks destined for Testarossa - always striving to exhibit Garys' special sense of place. The 2011 vintage was a touch cooler than average and allowed for extended hang time without over-ripeness. Harvest took place on October 25, 2011.

Upon arrival at the winery, the fruit was carefully hand sorted and allowed an extended cold soak. A gentle gravity flow process is used throughout the winery. The free run juice went through primary fermentation before being racked into French oak, of which thirty-four percent was new. Secondary malo-lactic conversion occurred naturally. The wine was allowed 24 months of barrel aging. Eight barrels were made of the 2011 vintage.

Tasting Notes

"Dark purple color. Refined notes of white pepper, violet, blueberry, and black pepper unite in a pleasing aroma profile. Upon aeration, gamey notes and subtle oak spice add complexity to this wine. Expansive flavors of blueberry, white pepper, and violet are tamed by abundant, yet silky tannins. This wine finishes with great complexity and integration. While Syrah can be challenging in cool vintages such as 2011, this vineyard overcomes the obstacles nature put forth. Drink now through 2021."

~Bill Brosseau, Director of Winemaking