Ojai Sebastiano Syrah 2016
John Sebastiano Vineyard was planted in 2007 and produced its first crop in 2010. It’s located on the northeastern edge of the Santa Rita Hills appellation way u pin the hills so it catches the ferocious winds that come in from the ocean at Vandenberg Air Force Base. The vines were planted on a steep western slope and the soil has quite a bit of clay with some shale-y bits that pop through here and there. The vines struggle to develop a full canopy of leaves and the fruit ripens late, but each year the wine possesses a complex ethereal aroma with a softness and approachability. I’ve found over the years that either a vineyard has “it” or it doesn’t, and right from the start John Sebastiano Syrah has possessed a strong cool climate personality and I just love it. The aroma and flavor are so compellingly exotic and complex, yet it’s our most gentle and easy going Syrah, the tannins are silky and fine.
Wine Advocate 91 - Coming from a terrific site and vines planted just outside of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA (the Pinot Noir in this site is part of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA), the 2014 Syrah John Sebastiano Vineyard was mostly destemmed and spent 15 months in 10-15% new French oak. Reminding me of a St. Joseph from France's Rhone valley, it offers loads of red and black fruits, violets, pepper and salted meat in a medium-bodied, fresh and lively style that's already hard to resist.
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