2009 Hampton Vineyard Syrah
Syrah • Hampton Vineyard
California: Santa Ynez Valley
We love, love, love this very impressive 2009 Epiphany Cellars Hampton Vineyard Syrah. As evidenced by this extraordinary Syrah, Blair Fox has really come into his own as a winemaker.
Epiphany Cellars has long-captivated our attention, and always, their Syrahs are top-shelf. Santa Barbara Syrah can be rather hit-or-miss, but today’s wine was really a smash hit with our tasting panel.
This big, delicious, balanced Syrah is made from the famous Hampton Vineyard, the winery’s finest source for multi award-winning Syrah. This wine is complex and deep, but also very approachable and, dare we say, even fun. It is also a great food wine, with plenty of acidity to balance its own dark character and provide a pleasing cleanse to the palate, between bites of food.
Drink now, or hold for the next decade. Just don’t miss out!
Intensely ruby red, with lighter-colored edging. At the core of the wine, the wine remains clear but darkens, slightly. When swirled, the wine settles quickly, leaving behind slow-moving legs and a viscous quality that attest to the depth of its flavors and feel.
Pronounced smoked meats, black cherry, leather and dark tobacco leap from the glass. These warm aromas are complimented by jammy dark plum and blackberry compote, darkly toasted oak and a hint of nutty chocolate.
Concentrated and bold with big fruit flavors of dark mixed berries, plum and black cherry. A backbone of darkly toasted oak ushers in dried leather, dark cocoa, dark cured meats and black pepper, with hints of the mildest tobacco and subtle hint of smoked bacon.
Extra long and absolutely loaded with dark, ripe fruit and savory characteristics that take a very long time to fade. As flavors fadem the palate is left with softly dry, chewy coating of dried red and black fruit, cured dark meats, spice, pepper and dark cocoa.
What the Winery Says
Varietal 100% Syrah
Appellation Santa Barbara County Vineyard Designation 100 % Hampton Vineyard in Santa Ynez Valley
Aging 23 months in 50% New French oak
Tasting Notes Opaque purple in color. Over the years, we have found that Hampton grapes consistently have a distinctive peppery intensity that makes a complex Syrah exploding with flavor. We were pleased once again to find our 2009 Hampton Syrah showcasing high acidity, robust tannins, and the wonderful pepper and spice flavors that we have come to love in this wine. On the nose, there are aromas of black cherry, smoked meat, black berry, black pepper, vanilla and nutmeg. With a brisk acidity and bold finish, your palate will be pleased to discovery flavors of black berry, mulberry, smoked meat, dark chocolate, black cherry, vanilla and a touch of oak. With a nice combination of fruit, smoke and pepper, this full-bodied Syrah will settle nicely with age and continue to delight all aspects of your senses from the rich aromas all the way to the nice long, lingering finish.
Gold Medal - San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
The Hampton Syrah grapes are typically the first Syrah grapes that we pick during harvest. In 2009, we brought these grapes in during the first week of September. Since the Hampton Vineyard is one of the more eastern vineyards in our valley, the grapes tend to ripen at a quicker pace allowing us to pick them slightly early. As always, delicate care is taken when harvesting the grapes from this small 10-acre elite vineyard. And because Dale Hampton knows a thing or two about growing grapes, we are never surprised to find that the Syrah from his vineyard has a wonderfully rich, concentrated flavor.
We hand picked, cluster sorted and destemmed the grapes into a 5 ton open top fermentor where hand puchdowns were performed 2-3 times per day. The juice spent 12 days on skins prior to being pressed into a combination of French (50% new French) and American oak barrels where it was left to age for 23 months. The 2009 Hampton Syrah will age nicely over the next 15 years. Production
About the Winery
The Epiphany brand is an integral part/component to the Fess Parker Family of Wines portfolio. Celebrating Rhone-based varietals and esoteric offerings, the Epiphany wine program addresses the needs of the adventurous wine lover, eager to discover new offerings and to explore Rhone-varietals in a bold and daring fashion. Winemaker, Blair Fox, who apprenticed under Brand Visionary and Founder, Eli Parker, is devoted to the wines of the Rhone valley.
Blair draws his inspiration from many Old World producers and from the experiences he had as a winemaker during a stint in Australia’s McLaren Vale and Barossa Valleys. Their work informs him, as he continues to build a portfolio of wines that remain firmly planted in Old and New World styles of winegrowing and winemaking.