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Alder Springs Vineyard Syrah Spirit Rock 2016 Mendocino County - Stringer Cellars


93 - Wine Enthusiast

Alder Springs Vineyard Syrah Spirit Rock 2016
Mendocino County


On the hilly 6,000-acre Alder Springs Ranch in far northern Mendocino County, Stuart Bewley has been growing some of California's most outstanding wine grapes since 1993. Bewley practices his patented brand of extremist viticulture on a patchwork of vineyards perched along the steep sandstone slopes of the Coast Range. The mountainous ranch is a decidedly challenging spot to cultivate grapes, but the results have been superb.
Spirit Rock is the highest elevation planting at Alder Springs Vineyard at 2700 feet. The sparse soil contributes to intense exotic and structured Syrah. The vines ripen one cluster per shoot, and the berries are extremely small and Pinot-like. The fractured sandstone has excellent drainage, and the perennial cover crop further de-vigorates the vines. Spirit Rock is so named due to large sandstone outcroppings due north of the block considered sacred to local tribes. The vines are planted in the alluvium of the sacred rock.

After hand-picking, the fruit was 100% destemmed, sorted, and lightly crushed into a single open top stainless fermenter. The must was cold soaked for 5 days before inoculation and the cap was punched down three times a day to maximize extraction. The wine spent a total of 21 days on its skins before pressing.

Tasting Notes:
The nose is shows hints of smoked venison, dried lavender, and sage. The palate is full and deep displaying flavors of raspberry, kirsch and mountain bramble. Round silky tannins allow for this wine to be enjoyed now, but further cellaring will be rewarded.
Technical Data:

  • Blend100% Syrah
  • WinemakerCasey Stringer
  • AppellationMendocino County
  • VineyardAlder Springs Spirit Rock Block
  • OakMeyrieux and Marcel Cadet 100% French oak. 50% new.
  • Aging/Cooperage20 Months
  • Alcohol15.2%
  • PH3.76
  • TA.65g/100mLs