Donelan Cuvée Christine Syrah 2012
The 2012 Syrah Cuvee Christine is a seriously good, rich, blockbuster-styled 2012 that delivers the goods! Made from 100% Syrah, fermented with a splash of whole clusters and aged in mostly neutral oak for 20 months, its deep ruby/purple tinged color is followed by a rich, concentrated Syrah that offers gorgeous blackberry, smoked earth, pepper and spring flower aromas and flavors. It has boatloads of ripe tannin, a sexy texture, and Rockstar purity, all pointing to it needing short term cellaring and evolving for two decades.
This 100% Syrah comes from four parcels of high-elevation sites across Sonoma, many of them otherwise single-vineyard designated by the winery. Here, the blending pays off in refined, gamy, sanguine undertones that evolve in the glass to meet mouthfilling black currant, fine-grain leather and white pepper. An acidic lift on the finish balances the wine's power.
Syrahs have always been the benchmark wines from Donelan, since the early days when he was using winemaker Pax Mahle. The 2012 Syrah Cuvee Christine, which is fermented with a 30% whole clusters and aged in 80% neutral oak, comes from four separate vineyards in the Russian River Valley at Sonoma Mountain. This is 100% Syrah, aged 20 months in 33% new French oak and represents nearly 900 cases of wine. Deep purple in color with lots of roast beef, blackberry, bouquet garni, licorice and charcuterie spices, the wine is rich, beautifully pure, full-bodied and showing well already, which is of course a hallmark of 2012. It should drink well for at least a decade or more.
Firm and dense, with a tight core of dark berry, licorice, dried herb and sage. Black tea-laced tannins grip and cling. Drink now through 2028. 899 cases made.