Austin Hope Syrah 2020
The Austin Hope Syrah continues to be a solid display of the Hope Family’s Estate Terroir. In the glass, the wine is dense and brooding. Aromas of leather, all spice and cassis lead into the palate with a meatiness that is balanced by fresh black cherry. Full bodied with gripping tannins, the wine finishes with a beautiful warm vanilla from the oak influence.
Our Estate Syrah is grown in the Templeton Gap district, which is near perfect conditions for the varietal; Warm days, cool nights and afternoon spring and summer breezes with some maritime influence from the Pacific Ocean, just 22 miles away. Soils are clay-based but integrated with small, water worn limestone deposits that helps to keep the soil well-drained. We grow several small blocks planted to a many clonal selections. Relatively flat, these vineyard blocks gently slope north or easterly along an ancient creek bed lined with our beloved oak trees. The main trellis system is a vertical shoot position except for Block 7B which is vertically head trained. Plant spacings are tight at, 5’ x5’, 6’ x 4’ and 6’ x 3’, which accommodates more plants per acre, thus allowing each plant to produce less fruit with concentrated color and flavors.
The 2020 blend is comprised of three Syrah clones –470 (Garonne, France), 383 (Hermitage, France), and our newest planting Clone 27.1. The grapes were handpicked and fermented separately by vineyard block in five-ton, open-top tanks. After daily pump-overs (for color and tannin extraction) for 10 days, the tanks were tasted as well as tested for their tannins and structure for determination of their length in extended maceration. These wines were held from 15-20 days on their skins before the being aged separately for 10 months in 100% once used French oak barrels. The wine was racked once during summer of 2021 to be blended and returned to 50% new and 50% once used French oak barrels. Just prior to bottling in January of 2022, the wine was racked for its second and final time.